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Tom Ingram tops official BTCC test ahead of Brands Hatch opener

Thursday, March 16 2017

Tom Ingram headed the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship official pre-season test today (Thursday), ahead of the opening rounds at Brands Hatch on 1/2 April.

Ingram, who won the opening round of the season at the Kent circuit last year, headed fellow Toyota Avensis driver Rob Austin by just over a tenth of a second at Donington Park.

A surprise third was series returnee Chris Smiley, who will race a Chevrolet Cruze for BTC Norlin Racing this season. His best time was just a couple of tenths off Ingram's benchmark.

Two race-winners were next up, with Adam Morgan's Mercedes A-Class and Jack Goff's Honda Civic Type R separated by just half a tenth. Aiden Moffat's Mercedes was a further tenth in arrears.

The Team HARD VW CC of Michael Epps was seventh, followed by Tom Chilton with the new works Vauxhall Astra. The top ten was completed by Dave Newsham (BTC Norlin Chevolet) and Ollie Jackson (AmDtuning.com Audi).

Reigning champion Gordon Shedden ended up just outside the top ten in 11th for Honda, heading a group of expected title challengers that included BMW's Rob Collard and Colin Turkington, team-mate Matt Neal and Motorbase's Mat Jackson. Jason Plato was 17th for Subaru and Andrew Jordan was 21st.

Proving the competitiveness of this year's field, just one second covered the top 18, with the 30 cars testing separated by fewer than two seconds.

The next time all teams will be on track together will be at Brands Hatch on Saturday 1 April, when the drivers will take part in two practice sessions before the first qualifying session of the season.

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship pre-season test
1, Tom Ingram, Speedworks Motorsport, Toyota Avensis, 1:09.995s
2, Rob Austin, Handy Motorsport, Toyota Avensis, +0.114s
3, Chris Smiley, BTC Norlin Racing, Chevrolet Cruze, +0.198s
4, Adam Morgan, Ciceley Motorsport, Mercedes Benz A-Class, +0.202s
5, Jack Goff, Eurotech Racing, Honda Civic Type R, +0.251s
6, Aiden Moffat, Laser Tools Racing, Mercedes-Benz A-Class, +0.352s
7, Michael Epps, Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing, Volkswagen CC, +0.612s
8, Tom Chilton, Power Maxed Racing, Vauxhall Astra, +0.663s
9, Dave Newsham, BTC Norlin Racing, Chevrolet Cruze, +0.682s
10, Ollie Jackson, AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts, Audi S3, +0.737s