Ingram top of the class as new hybrid era shines on debut


Tom Ingram takes charge with a victory, a second place and a fifth place finish in the opening weekend of racing at Donington Park as the new era of BTCC racing set off.

The weekend started well for Ingram as he put his Hyundai in fourth in qualifying on the Saturday, despite being agonisingly close to pole only 0.063 away from polesitter Jake Hill.

In between the two was the seven championships of Colin Turkington followed by Ash Sutton.

The BMW’s of Hill and Turkington clearly had an edge over one lap which Ingram capitalised on making his moves at the beginning of race one to hold of Turkington by six tenths at the flag.

Another impressive march through the first race was from Flash himself, Gordon Shedden. Starting in P6 might have been slightly disappointing for the flying Scot but a charge through to the podium in race one is nothing short of a good start to the season.

This showed as race two was nothing short of exactly what Shedden wanted taking the top step of the podium.

Polesitter Ingram got away cleanly unlike front-row compatriot Turkington who struggled to get away resulting in a lowly 14th behind 23 year veteran Jason Plato.

This left only fast-starting George Gamble between Shedden and Ingram. It did not take long to get through as Shedden took second on the main straight going into lap four.

Shedden’s pace seemed too good for the race one winner and it showed as he managed to make the pass stick on lap 10 at which he would stay in that position.

The final race of the day saw a familiar name from earlier in the weekend take a resurgence to the forefront.

After an exclusion from race one and a fight back to ninth from the back of the grid in race two, position nine was pulled out to get reverse grid pole for the final race which belonged to no one other than Hill.

After a brilliant start to the weekend was abruptly cut short after race one Hill certainly made race three his own.

Displaying a stunning lights to flag victory in what is supposed to be the most hectic race of the day is nothing short of a classy drive.

Hill won from the front whereas the rest of the podium was filled out of fourth and fifth place starters Ash Sutton and Josh Cook.

Ingram pulled a fifth place out of starting from eighth whereas Shedden started and finished ninth letting Turkington through in the process starting 14th and finishing eighth.

The opening weekend brought nothing short of thrills and spills in the first three ever races of hybrid cars in the BTCC.

The standings saw Ingram out front with Shedden not too far behind in second. Sutton and Cook’s consistent weekend left them in third and fourth.

Four-time champion Turkington’s costly race two start means he only comes away seventh in he standings. A frustrating weekend when the BMW’s had so much pace.

The form chart will for sure change again as the series heads to Brands Hatch Indy on the 14th-15th May.

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