Ingram hopeful of strong result at Team Toyota GB with Ginsters' 'adopted home circuit'
Donington Park will play host to some 4,500 members and families from Toyota Manufacturing UK this weekend (27/28 April), all ready to cheer on Tom Ingram in his new Team Toyota GB with Ginsters Corolla as the British Touring Car Championship calls into the popular Leicestershire circuit – and the series’ reigning two-time Independent Champion is confident of putting on a stellar show.
Team Toyota GB has returned to the UK’s premier motor racing series as an official Manufacturer entry in 2019 for the first time in more than two decades, by joining forces with Northwich, Cheshire-based outfit Speedworks Motorsport – and at Brands Hatch earlier this month, 25-year-old Ingram got the new partnership off to a promising start with a hat-trick of solid points-scoring finishes in tricky wet/dry conditions.
That means the Bucks-born ace will arrive at Donington – a track at which he has been a winner in each of the past two seasons, last year from all the way down in 13th on the grid – sitting a competitive tenth in the Drivers’ table amongst the 30 high-calibre contenders, and he is sure to receive an enthusiastic welcome and tremendous support from his new TMUK ‘fan club’.
As a sneak preview, tomorrow (Thursday), he will take his race-tuned Corolla to the nearby Burnaston plant, where it will sit proudly on display alongside Toyota’s recently-launched, British-built road-going model – the latest generation of the best-selling car in motoring history.
Having finished third in the overall BTCC standings in 2017 and second in 2018, Ingram is well aware that successful championship campaigns are built on consistency in a series that last year saw a record-breaking 17 different race-winners – so three further strong scores on Sunday would be just the ticket to keep his title bid on-track and send the TMUK faithful home happy. All of the action will be broadcast live and in high-definition on ITV4, starting at 10:40am.
Tom Ingram, Driver, Team Toyota GB with Ginsters, said:
“Donington is going to end up being our adopted home circuit! Speedworks has historically counted Oulton Park as ‘home ground’, but with our Team Toyota GB backing and 4,500 employees and their families coming to watch us from TMUK, that’s all about to change!
“It’s an unbelievable feeling to have that many people coming out to support us and it’ll be an invaluable help, I’m sure. I can’t recall anything on quite this scale before, and it’s an absolute honour and privilege for me and all the Speedworks crew that will be working away in the pit garage throughout the weekend. It does add a little ratchet of pressure, but it’s more exciting than anything else.
“We tested at Donington last month and I have to say, that was probably the best the car felt anywhere pre-season. Its layout suits the strengths of the new Corolla – the car is incredible on the brakes, which is a key attribute there, and it’s fantastically-balanced through the mid-speed corners which should similarly play into our hands.
“I think we can be in the mix. We’re light on ballast which will help in qualifying and race one, so I’m hopeful a strong result is on the cards – especially with all eyes on us and the Team Toyota GB flags flying!”
Christian Dick, Team Principal, Team Toyota GB with Ginsters, said:
“Donington is shaping up to be a very busy and exciting weekend for us. We’ve always been fortunate to enjoy the support of a loyal fanbase, but this is set to be something else altogether – and taking our BTCC Corolla to Burnaston tomorrow is a great reward for all those who have worked so hard to design and manufacture the new road-going model, which I must say looks like an absolutely cracking piece of kit!
“In preparation for the race weekend, we tested at Thruxton last week alongside all the other BTCC teams, which went very well. We ran with ballast in the morning and Tom was still able to lap third-quickest, which was obviously encouraging. We were satisfied with that, so we then spent the afternoon session experimenting with different set-ups rather than chasing lap times and I think it’s fair to say we learnt a lot.
“It was extremely difficult to draw any conclusions from Brands Hatch because the weather was just so changeable, but we have gone well at Donington before and I see no reason why we shouldn’t be firmly in contention again in all three races.”