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Tom Ingram takes maiden BTCC pole position at Brands Hatch

Saturday, April 02 2016

Tom Ingram took a sensational pole position for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship opening round at Brands Hatch today (Saturday), heading the works Hondas, whilst Colin Turkington impressed by qualifying his Subaru Levorg just outside the top ten.

The rear-wheel-drive cars set the early pace as the front-drive cars warmed their tyres, meaning that the WSR BMWs headed the order initially, with Sam Tordoff and Rob Collard topping the times, whilst Jack Goff had a minor pirouette at the exit of Druids.

Ashley Sutton and Adam Morgan headed the front-drive charge, before the works Honda joined the party, with reigning champion Gordon Shedden taking over the head of the field.

With WSR, Honda and MG disputing pole position, Ingram went straight to the top of the order as the opening third of the session drew to a close amid a frantic dash to post competitive times.

A light shower halfway through the session resulted in reduced activity on the track, but some drivers were keen to improve, the list including Goff, who had suffered a dramatic fall down the order following his earlier spin. Over a series of laps, he found enough heat in his tyres to move up to the brink of the top ten, prompting a rush back to the circuit for the final ten minutes.

Goff continued his march up the order, eventually stalling in seventh place, as team-mate Tordoff made a slight improvement to fourth place. More dramatically, Turkington qualified his Subaru in 11th place, just four tenths off the pole.

With no more improvements forthcoming, Ingram celebrated his first pole position, and the first for Speedworks Motorsport. His eventual margin was just 0.063 seconds over Shedden, who just out-qualified team-mate Neal. Behind Tordoff, Sutton headed his team-mate at MG, whilst Mat Jackson headed Andrew Jordan, who ended up outside the top ten. Aron Smith will start BKR's debut BTCC race in tenth place, ahead of former team-mate Turkington.

"Superb," beamed Ingram after the session. "The guys at Speedworks have done a great job and it's my first Touring Car pole - awesome. To be honest I was sat in the car waiting to go and saw the clouds coming across so we needed to put a banker lap in early."

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Qualifying
1, Tom Ingram, Speedworks Motorsport, Toyota Avensis, 47.990s
2, Gordon Shedden, Halfords Yuasa Racing, Honda Civic Type R, +0.063s
3, Matt Neal, Halfords Yuasa Racing, Honda Civic Type R, +0.111s
4, Sam Tordoff, Team JCT600 with GuardX, BMW 125i M-Sport, +0.112s
5, Ashley Sutton, MG Racing RCIB Insurance, MG6 GT, +0.141s
6, Adam Morgan, WIX Racing, Mercedes-Benz A-Class, +0.339s
7, Josh Cook, MG Racing RCIB Insurance, MG6 GT, +0.368s
8, Jack Goff, Team IHG Rewards Club, BMW 125i M-Sport, +0.391s
9, Mat Jackson, Motorbase, Ford Focus, +0.406s
10, Aron Smith, BKR, VW CC, +0.452s

Click here for a full classification. The opening BTCC race of the season will take place at 11:32am tomorrow.

Raceday tickets for the opening rounds of the BTCC at Brands Hatch on 3 April are available on the gate for £33 on Sunday, with free entry for under-13s. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.