BUCKS drivers Tom Ingram and Jack Goff made blistering starts to the British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch last weekend, with both registering top ten finishes in the opening round of the season.
This was Ingram’s debut in the highly-charged championship after signing Speedworks Motorsport during the close season, and he didn’t disappoint by finishing ninth in race one and eighth in race two.
He was shunted into the barriers in race three, but team principal Christian Dick was delighted with his young protege.
He said: “What a fantastic weekend. I have had people from right the way down the pit-lane coming up to tell me how well Tom drove.
“His qualifying pace blew everybody away – that really raised some eyebrows and embarrassed some of the more established drivers – and his racecraft was just as impressive. To come away with two top ten finishes is just mega. I’m made up.”
Ingram actually qualified sixth in race one, beaten only by the five most recent title-winners and ten placed above the next best rookie.
Consecutive top ten finishes announced his arrival, and he was on course for the hat-trick until being tagged by two-time champion Alain Menu.
He said: “The start of races one and two was a bit like getting beaten up at big school for the first time as the other drivers welcomed me into the championship.
“That said, once the rough-and-tumble of the opening lap was out of the way, the action settled down and I ran with the leaders throughout.
“It was tremendously encouraging to be so close to the front on my debut and I absolutely loved the whole experience.
“We showed we’ve got the speed to be competitive and to battle against the big boys, and we could honestly never have forecast that coming into the weekend. We’ve laid down a marker for the future – and we’re only going to get better from here.”
Meanwhile, Stokenchurch racer Goff finished 12th, 14th and eighth driving for the RCIB Insurance Racing squad for the second season running.
He tweeted: “A pretty solid 1st weekend for the @TeamBMRBTCC @RCIBRacing team this weekend @Brands_Hatch thank you everyone for your support this weekend.”
The championship resumes at Donnington over the Easter weekend.