Ingram leads Toyota 1-2 in Donington BTCC test
Speedworks Toyota driver Tom Ingram topped the times in the BTCC’s official pre-season test at Donington Park.
Ingram headed the timesheets for the initial part of the session before becoming the only driver to break the 1m10s barrier with just over 60 minutes of the four-hour session to go.
The two-time race winner clocked a 1m09.995s lap, which was just over a tenth of a second faster than the quickest time during the equivalent session in 2016.
Ingram, 23, said: “I am very happy with that – what a great way to start the year. It validates all the work we have put in over the winter, and it has been hard work.
“We have found a really good balance with the car, and today we were able to work on longer race runs as well as trying to get a to a place where I can push the car, and both of those gave us great results. We are in a very positive frame of mind now.”
Behind Ingram was Rob Austin in the Handy Motorsport Toyota Avensis, just one tenth of a second back.
Returning team BTC Norlin turned heads with a consistently strong afternoon from Northern Irishman Chris Smiley. He finished the session in third place in the Chevrolet Cruze, while his teammate Dave Newsham was a strong ninth place.
Adam Morgan (Ciceley Mercedes), Jack Goff (Eurotech Honda) and Aiden Moffat (Laser Tools Mercedes) rounded out the top six.
The brand new factory-blessed Vauxhall Astra, run by Power Maxed Racing, was eighth in the hands of BTCC returnee Tom Chilton, just behind the Team Hard Volkswagen of Mike Epps.
Ollie Jackson’s AmD Tuning Audi S3 rounded out the top 10, behind Newsham.
Reigning champion Gordon Shedden was 11th in the Team Dynamics Honda Civic Type-R, and he headed WSR BMW racer Rob Collard.
Former champion Colin Turkington was 13th on his return to the WSR, team ahead of the second Team Dynamics Honda of Matt Neal. Jason Plato was 17th in his BMR-run Subaru Levorg.
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