BTCC Season Launch: The car in front is a Toyota
In the only official pre-season group test, Tom Ingram put Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters at the top of the British Touring Car Championship timing screens at Silverstone yesterday (17 March), proving the potential of the team’s Toyota Corolla ahead of its campaign in the UK’s premier motor racing series.
Last year, two-time BTCC Independents’ Champion Ingram piloted the all-new Corolla to four victories – one apiece at Donington Park and Snetterton and a dominant double at Silverstone – en route to sixth spot in the final Drivers’ standings. The talented young Bucks-born ace replicated that stellar form as the championship returned to the legendary ‘Home of British Motor Racing’ – this time on Silverstone’s ‘International’ layout, hitherto unused in the BTCC – to send out a solid signal of intent.
Third-quickest in the morning – after leading the way for much of the session – Ingram upped the tempo in the afternoon to conclude proceedings fastest overall amongst the 29 high-calibre competitors, as the ‘Built in Britain’ Corolla danced around the 1.85-mile lap and none of its rivals proved able to live with the Toyota’s prodigious pace.
Although the start of the forthcoming campaign has been delayed by the global COVID-19 virus – with all UK motorsport suspended until at least the end of April – once racing does resume, Ingram and Speedworks will head into battle with their eyes fixed firmly on the prize.
Tom Ingram, Driver, Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters, said:
“It’s obviously pleasing to set the first fastest time of the season. I really like Silverstone’s International layout – it’s a cool track that should generate some good, close racing later this year with its mixture of fast, medium and slow-speed sections. We saw at the test that the times were really tight and we completed almost 100 laps in total, which enabled us to work through a lot of our planned programme and the car felt really good.
“We’ve definitely taken a big step forward over the winter, and the best bit is we know there’s even more speed still to extract, which is very exciting. We’re in a really good place right now and although the off-season is going to be a bit longer than expected for completely unavoidable and understandable reasons, once we are clear to go racing again, I can’t wait to show everybody just what our little Corolla is capable of!”
Every attempt will be made to reschedule the early season events at Donington Park, Brands Hatch and Silverstone, although confirmation of this will be provided once further clarity regarding the eventual resumption of major sporting events is known.
2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Pre-Season Test – Silverstone International Circuit
1 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters 1:06.171s
2 Jake HILL (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square +0.051s
3 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.319s
4 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Motorbase Performance +0.441s
5 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.514s
6 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport +0.609s
7 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) Team BMW +0.656s
8 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.754s
9 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +0.797s
10 Chris SMILEY (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport +0.826s
11 James GORNALL (GBR) GKR TradePriceCars.com +0.856s
12 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Team BMW +0.860s
13 Michael CREES (GBR) Clever Baggers with BTC Racing +0.890s
14 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Motorbase Performance +0.895s
15 Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) GKR TradePriceCars.com +0.909s
16 Jason PLATO (GBR) Power Maxed Car Care Racing +0.935s
17 Tom CHILTON (GBR) BTC Racing +1.002s
18 Sam OSBORNE (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square +1.089s
19 Jack GOFF (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport +1.094s
20 Josh WEBSTER (GBR) Team Parker Racing +1.102s
21 Carl BOARDLEY (GBR) HUB Financial Solutions with Team HARD. +1.147s
22 Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Carlube TripleR Racing Cataclean Mac Tools +1.269s
23 Josh COOK (GBR) BTC Racing +1.294s
24 Mat JACKSON (GBR) Power Maxed Car Care Racing +1.395s
25 Nicolas HAMILTON (GBR) ROKiT Racing with Team HARD. +1.418s
26 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Carlube TripleR Racing Cataclean Mac Tools +1.473s
27 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +1.582s
28 Howard FULLER (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport +1.586s
29 Andy NEATE (GBR) Motorbase Performance +2.654s