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Charging Ingram seizes the win in Brands BTCC race three

Sunday, April 08 2018

Tom Ingram (Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis) stormed to an impressive BTCC race three victory at Brands Hatch after an inspired run from 11th on the grid this afternoon. Ingram's performance grants him an early championship lead - the second year in succession that he has left the opening round as leader.

Ingram shared the final podium of the day with Adam Morgan (Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes A-Class) who finished second, and Rob Austin (DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing Alfa Romeo Giulietta), who returned the Alfa name to the BTCC podium.

Austin initially got away brilliantly to lead the way early on, from Ollie Jackson (AmD with Cobra Exhausts Audi S3), and Aiden Moffat (Laser Tools Racing Mercedes A-Class). Tom Boardman's MG6 was next in line off the start, with Mike Bushell and Matt Simpson completing the top six.

Boardman's flirtation with the lead battle was brief as he ran wide at Paddock Hill Bend as the second lap started, and the safety car was summoned soon afterwards for a separate incident involving Rob Collard's works BMW which was stranded at Druids.

Austin led from Jackson and Moffat under the safety car conditions, with Ingram in fourth after maneuvering his way through the pack early on.

The race resumed on lap six, and Ingram was the man on the move immediately, storming past Moffat at Druids to claim third place, before Moffat was tapped out of overall contention by Bushell shortly afterwards.

Ingram deposed Jackson either with slick run out of Clark Curve on the seventh lap, and started to hunt down and pressure Austin, whilst Bushell followed him by Jackson.

Ingram dived for the lead at Paddock Hill Bend on lap 11, but Austin remained committed on the outside to maintain the lead. Ingram made the move stick at the start of lap 13 and began to move away from Austin straight away.

Behind the leaders, the main scrap was a queue for fourth place involving Goff, Morgan, Butcher, and Jackson, with Sutton in hot pursuit. On lap 18, Goff tumbled down the order to ninth, behind Simpson after losing track position and conceding positions to the entire chasing pack.

After being released by Goff, Morgan was able to hunt down and pass Bushell for third, before making immediate inroads into Austin's advantage, whilst Sutton made it past Bushell too.

Morgan finally made his move on Austin on the final lap of the race, with a sublime pass at Paddock Hill Bend, leaving the Alfa driver to settle for third place.

Result

1, Tom Ingram, Speedworks Motorsport, Toyota Avensis, 27 laps
2, Adam Morgan, Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport, A-Class, +3.237s
3, Rob Austin, DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing, Alfa Romeo Giulietta, +4.202s
4, Ashley Sutton, Adrian Flux Subaru Racing, Subaru Levorg GT, +8.939s
5, Mike Bushell, Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing, Volkswagen CC, +10.376s
6, Rory Butcher, AmD with Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing, MG6, +10.500s
7, Matt Simpson, Simpson Racing, Honda Civic Type R, +10.992s
8, Jack Goff, WIX Racing with Eurotech, Honda Civic Type R, +11.913s
9, Colin Turkington, Team BMW, BMW 125i M Sport, +12.068s
10, Josh Cook, Power Maxed TAG Racing, Vauxhall Astra, +12.503s

Championship top five

Ingram, 40
Goff, 37
Morgan, 30
Austin, 26
Sutton, 26

Photo: PSP Images