Tom Ingram admits ‘only wins will do now’ after cruel Snetterton heartbreak

Tom Ingram admits ‘only wins will do now’ after cruel Snetterton heartbreak

15.08.2012: Tom Ingram has vowed to redouble his efforts to clinch the Ginetta GT Supercup crown in 2012




Tom Ingram has vowed to redouble his efforts to clinch the Ginetta GT Supercup crown in 2012 after cruel misfortune cost him victory and a hatful of points in the sixth round of the campaign at Snetterton – leaving the talented young High Wycombe-based speed demon to concede that ‘podiums will no longer be enough’.


Ingram travelled to the Norfolk circuit – the only one on the calendar at which he has yet to win – bidding to quash that unenviable statistic and further erode the 37-point deficit separating him from the championship leader in the BTCC-supporting, ITV4 live-televised sportscar series.


“I’m not sure why, but I’ve never really seemed to have any luck at Snetterton,” he revealed, recollecting his outing there last year as ‘one of the worst of my racing career’. “It’s a shame, because it’s a really cool track to drive. It’s just that every single time we’ve been there, something has gone wrong...”


With a striking new livery on his JHR Developments-run Ginetta G55 to reflect his recent recruitment by the prestigious KX Akademy, Ingram was buoyed by strong form during practice, and headed into the weekend bullish about his prospects.


After requiring only three laps in qualifying to secure his third straight pole position of 2012, the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Star and MSA Academy member confessed to having made ‘one fairly big mistake and another smaller one’ on his fastest run, leaving him confident that he could have gone substantially quicker still had he needed to. From there, he looked well-placed to capitalise in the opening encounter, but once more, Lady Luck had other ideas...


“I got a mega start and stayed in front for the first couple of laps,” he recounted, “but I was under pressure from the championship leader behind and concentrating on keeping him at bay. I was having to defend pretty hard, but as we went through a long left-hander, I was so focussed on trying to box him out that I didn’t notice how close the driver in third was, and as we were busy battling each other, he managed to sneak past us both.


“After that, we had some problems with the differential – it was moving all over the place under braking and during gear changes, causing the back wheels to jump off the ground and sending me into corners sideways, which was a little disconcerting, to say the least! We never had the pace to challenge, to be honest, but at least by finishing second I remained ahead of my main championship rivals.”


Barely a second shy of the winner when the chequered flag fell, the manner in which Ingram expertly and valiantly fended off his two chief adversaries despite his issues was impressive indeed, and he was quick to praise the JHR Developments boys for burning the midnight oil to rectify the problems by the following morning.


Beginning race two full of optimism, an ‘unbelievable’ start vaulted the 18-year-old KENNETT brand ambassador immediately into the lead from second on the grid, and by the end of a storming first lap, he had already established a 1.3-second advantage over the rest of the field, with his arch-rival only fourth. It was a perfect scenario, but mere moments later, smoke filling the cockpit signalled that all was far from well, and as his engine blew shortly afterwards, Ingram’s Snetterton curse continued.


“That was a real kick in the teeth,” he acknowledged, “but the team worked ridiculously hard again to change the engine in time for race three, which I would begin plum last. I spoke to my KX Akademy mentor Jason Plato about my tactics, and I was really fired-up for it; I told him I would just have to ‘do a Plato’ and fight my way through from the back!



“I gained three places through the first few corners and was into the top ten by the end of lap one, and I then pushed like a madman. I could see I was getting closer and closer to the front, and we missed out on fourth place in the end by six thousandths of a second after a 23-minute race. That pretty much summed the weekend up, to be fair...”


Lapping comfortably quickest, it was a truly heroic performance as the reigning Ginetta G50 Champion and former Ginetta Junior Champion and British Karting Champion scythed his way through the order from 17th to fifth at the flag. Notwithstanding his stellar charge, however, Ingram knows that his Snetterton troubles have left him well on the back foot at 72 points adrift of the championship lead – and with only one viable strategy from hereon in.


“Although it is still possible to make up that ground, it will be an extremely tall order,” he recognised, thanking KX Akademy and sponsors SKYCIG, Hansford Sensors, KENNETT, Matthew & Leigh-Anne Kirby, One Dry Wash and Race-Keeper for their support. “Saying that, there’s plenty that can happen and I just want to remove the pressure from myself and take each race at a time. Podiums are no longer enough; we need wins now – and lots of them!”


You can follow Tom on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomingram80 and keep up-to-date with his latest career news and results at www.tom-ingram.com; further information about the KX Akademy can be found at www.kxakademy.com



- Russell Atkins, photos Jakob Ebrey

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/tom-ingram-cruel-snetterton-ginetta-gt-supercup---102270.html

15.08.2012 / MaP

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