Speedworks driver Tom Ingram tops pre-season BTCC test at Donington
|By Matt James||Thursday, March 16th 2017, 17:20 GMT|
Speedworks Motorsport driver Tom Ingram topped the times at the British Touring Car Championship's official pre-season test at Donington Park.
The Toyota Avensis driver headed the timesheets for the initial part of the session, before becoming the only driver to break the 1m10s barrier with a little more than a quarter of the four-hour test to go.
Two-time race winner Ingram clocked a 1m09.995s lap as his eventual best, which was just over a tenth of a second faster than the quickest time during the equivalent session in 2016.
Ingram, 23, said: "I am very happy with that - what a great way to start the year.
"It validates all the work we have put in over the winter, and it has been hard work.
"We have found a really good balance with the car, and today we were able to work on longer race runs as well as trying to get a to a place where I can push the car, and both of those gave us great results.
"We are in a very positive frame of mind now."
Behind Ingram was Rob Austin in the Handy Motorsport Toyota Avensis, just one tenth of a second back.
Returning team BTC Norlin turned heads with a consistently-strong afternoon from Northern Irishman Chris Smiley.
He finished the session in third place in the Chevrolet Cruze, while his team-mate Dave Newsham was ninth in the sister car.
Adam Morgan (Ciceley Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class), Eurotech Honda driver Jack Goff and Aiden Moffat in his Laser Tools Racing A-Class completed the top six behind Smiley.
The brand new factory-blessed Vauxhall Astra, run by Power Maxed Racing, was eighth in the hands of former BTCC Independents Trophy winner Tom Chilton, just behind the Team Hard VW CC of Mike Epps.
Behind Newsham, Ollie Jackson's AmD Tuning Audi S3 rounded out the top 10.
Reigning champion Gordon Shedden was 11th in the Team Dynamics Honda Civic Type-R, former champion Colin Turkington (WSR BMW 125i M Sport) was 13th on his return to WSR ahead of the second Team Dynamics car Matt Neal while Jason Plato (Team BMR Subaru Levorg) was 17th.