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Race report
BTCC Donington Park

BTCC Donington: Ingram wins first race of new hybrid era

Tom Ingram took victory in the first race of the British Touring Car Championship’s new hybrid era at Donington Park with his Hyundai.

The foundations of the victory were built on the second lap – the first of hybrid usage – when he vaulted the warring BMWs of Colin Turkington and Jake Hill to take the lead.

From fourth on the grid, Ingram had dropped to fifth at the start with his Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N, powered by a brand-new bespoke Hyundai engine built by long-time former TOCA powerplant supplier Swindon.

He quickly worked his way past the Ciceley Motorsport BMW 330e M Sport of George Gamble, then found a gap down the inside of reigning champion Ash Sutton’s Motorbase Performance Ford Focus ST to move into third place.

Up front, Turkington had made a better getaway than rear-wheel-drive BTCC debutant Hill, but the BMW newcomer drew level with the sister West Surrey Racing-run car of four-time champion Turkington as the opening lap ended.

The BMW duo got embroiled in a war over the second lap, rubbing bodywork down the Craner Curves, before Hill dived down the inside of Turkington at the Old Hairpin with his tyres smoking.

Turkington cut back across the outside at Schwantz Curve, but Hill hung on around the outside of McLeans, and there was more contact.

Somehow, Ingram found a gap down the inside of both BMWs into Coppice to take the lead, while Hill – on the outside – was shuffled down to fifth behind Sutton and Gamble.

Race winner Tom Ingram, Bristol Street Motors Hyundai i30N

Race winner Tom Ingram, Bristol Street Motors Hyundai i30N

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Following an early safety car interlude, Hill took little time to reclaim fourth from Gamble, then demoted Sutton from third into McLeans just after half-distance, and set fastest lap as he homed in on the leading duo.

Hill was pressuring Turkington once again when he clipped the tyre stack at the first apex of the chicane with the right-front corner, and the tattered BMW had to chase the sister machine home, with Ingram hanging on to win by 0.669 seconds.

“That was a strong race,” said Ingram. “The pace all the way through was fast, and at no point could I relax.

“I had Colin pushing me along, and I could see Jake latching onto the back of Colin. You had to watch your mirrors, and work out how much you could deploy your hybrid.”

Sutton lost more ground and was unable to prevent the Team Dynamics Honda Civic Type R of Gordon Shedden getting past on the Craners with seven laps remaining.

While Shedden came home fourth, Sutton had to focus on fending off the Ciceley BMW of Adam Morgan, which he narrowly did to claim fifth.

They were all promoted one place, Shedden onto the podium, after Hill’s BMW failed the rideheight test, almost certainly a result of the impact with the chicane tyre stack.

Behind them, BTCC debutant Gamble indulged in all-BMW battle with the WSR machine of fellow local man Stephen Jelley, and managed to defeat the veteran to seventh, sixth after Hill’s exclusion.

From 16th on the grid, Josh Cook at last got some decent running under the wheels of his BTC Racing Honda – he cleared the Civics of team-mate Jason Plato and Dynamics’ Dan Rowbottom on the penultimate lap to take ninth on the road, and Plato then suffered a left-front puncture on the final lap.

The safety car was caused when Ricky Collard’s Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Corolla ground to a halt on the pitstraight at the end of the opening lap.

Ironically, the funnelling of the field to avoid Collard resulted in unsighted team-mate Rory Butcher, charging from the rear of the grid, hitting the Motorbase Ford of Ollie Jackson, putting the other Toyota out of the race.

Dan Cammish, in a Motorbase Ford rebuilt from its qualifying fire, finished 16th.

BTCC Donington Park - Race 1 results

Cla Driver Laps Time Gap
1 United Kingdom Tom Ingram
19 24'40.599
2 United Kingdom Colin Turkington
19 24'41.258 0.659
3 United Kingdom Jake Hill
19 24'41.749 1.150
4 United Kingdom Gordon Shedden
19 24'44.721 4.122
5 United Kingdom Ashley Sutton
19 24'45.666 5.067
6 United Kingdom Adam Morgan
19 24'46.065 5.466
7 George Gamble
19 24'47.772 7.173
8 United Kingdom Stephen Jelley
19 24'48.076 7.477
9 United Kingdom Josh Cook
19 24'53.865 13.266
10 United Kingdom Daniel Rowbottom
19 24'55.267 14.668
11 United Kingdom Tom Chilton
19 24'57.152 16.553
12 United Kingdom Daniel Lloyd
19 24'57.666 17.067
13 Bobby Thompson
19 25'02.131 21.532
14 Ireland Aron Taylor-Smith
19 25'02.153 21.554
15 Michael Crees
19 25'02.288 21.689
16 United Kingdom Aiden Moffat
19 25'04.566 23.967
17 United Kingdom Dan Cammish
19 25'04.568 23.969
18 Dexter Patterson
19 25'05.373 24.774
19 United Kingdom Ash Hand
19 25'06.081 25.482
20 Jade Edwards
19 25'11.849 31.250
21 Nicolas Hamilton
19 25'17.104 36.505
22 United Kingdom Jason Plato
19 25'29.971 49.372
23 Rick Parfitt Jr.
19 25'37.806 57.207
24 Sam Osborne
19 25'41.459 1'00.860
Jack Butel
15 20'22.104 4 Laps
United Kingdom Ollie Jackson
7 10'51.813 12 Laps
United Kingdom Rory Butcher
3 4'29.181 16 Laps
United Kingdom Ricky Collard
1 1'21.123 18 Laps

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