INGRAM DOES THE DOUBLE AT KNOCKHILL TO INCREASE SERIES LEAD Hillspeed's Tom Ingram opened up a substantial 55-point lead in the Ginetta Junior Championship standings at Knockhill over the weekend, 4th/5th September, thanks to another...
INGRAM DOES THE DOUBLE AT KNOCKHILL TO INCREASE SERIES LEAD
Hillspeed's Tom Ingram opened up a substantial 55-point lead in the Ginetta Junior Championship standings at Knockhill over the weekend, 4th/5th September, thanks to another sensational, fault-free performance for the Hathersage-based team.
Just like at Silverstone two weeks ago, the 17-year-old from High Wycombe took pole position for both races at the 1.27-mile Fife track and went on to secure a brace of tremendous victories to make it four wins on the bounce and five successes in total for the year.
Hitting a rich vein of form as the championship enters its crucial final stages -- only four races now remaining before the end of the season -- Ingram did exactly what he needed to over the weekend to the delight of his team.
Hillspeed's Richard Ollerenshaw said: "Midway through the season Tom realised what needed to be done for the championship, he's had to be very careful with regard to his budget but he's stepped things up brilliantly and is now adding regular wins to his consistency. He's picked up the pace and to win the last four races back-to-back is fantastic.
"Nobody else has had two perfect weekends this season like the last two have been for Tom, it's put him in a great position in the championship. The aim now has to be consolidating that lead during the final two events at Donington and Brands Hatch, he's driving beautifully at the moment."
During Saturday's 15th round Ingram led from pole position and although slipping behind title rival Jake Hill at Duffus Dip on lap three, he applied a huge amount of pressure immediately and just a lap later he grabbed the lead back at the John R Weir Chicane after Hill ran wide into the gravel. From that point on, Ingram cruised to a tremendous 5.5 second victory.
At the start of round 16 on Sunday morning, the Conway House Dental Practice-supported racer didn't get away as he wanted and dropped to second behind Hill through the first turn but Ingram remained tight to the tail of his rival and was visibly the quicker of the two.
Ingam's pressure finally told on the eighth tour when he sliced up the inside at the chicane to take the lead and bravely kept his foot firmly on the power as Hill forced him wide onto the grass. Ingram was having none of it though and made sure the place was his with some committed driving. From there he opened up a five second cushion to take his fifth win of 2010 in style.
Morris comes of age in Ginetta Junior with superb Knockhill debut Marford-based Seb Morris was in equally impressive form on his first ever visit to Knockhill over the weekend and after taking a career-best fourth place finish in the opening encounter with a truly superb performance, the 14-year-old pushed for the top three in race two.
Morris, who is the youngest driver on the entire Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship package, has been a revelation in his first season of car racing and raised his own personal bar even higher at Knockhill as he came very close to a maiden podium result.
Qualifying a strong seventh for round 15, Morris initially slipped to eighth but then mounted a terrific drive. Moving into the top six by lap three, he shot past Adam Bonham at the hairpin to grab fifth on lap four and then set about reeling in David Moore ahead. Into the hairpin on lap eight, he produced another sterling pass to take fourth off Moore and remained there to the flag -- finishing just a couple of seconds shy of the podium.
In round 16, Morris aimed to at least match his earlier performance and from sixth on the grid he made a good start in his Liberty Properties-backed Ginetta G40. Pressuring Tom Howard on lap three, Morris produced perhaps the pass of the race into Duffus Dip with a tremendous cut-back to grab fifth on the inside.
Instantly pulling away from the chasing pack, the Hillspeed teenager moved into the top four on lap 10 at the hairpin past Bonham and then set about trying to reel-in the top three. Unfortunately though, all of his hard work was undone on the 11th tour with a spin while pressing hard. He did recover but ended the race in ninth position.
Speaking on Morris' performance Ollerenshaw said: "Seb has really grasped what he needs to do, he arrived at Knockhill with no experience of the track but instantly showed what he was capable of in testing and then again in qualifying, He did make a small mistake which cost him the chance to be fourth on the grid but seventh and sixth was still terrific.
"In the races he performed incredibly well, Seb was nothing short of exceptional this weekend and his fourth place in race one was very well deserved. It's a shame he made a mistake while trying to catch the top three in the second one but we can't complain about that, he's pushing hard and learning the limits -- he did a great job."
Ollerenshaw added: "We always enjoy visiting Knockhill, the last time we were there was in 2005 but we saw a lot of familiar faces over the weekend and they looked after us very well indeed. On behalf of everyone at Hillspeed I'd like to thank all of the staff at Knockhill for making it one of our most enjoyable weekends of the season."
There are just two weeks to wait for the penultimate event on the Ginetta Junior Championship calendar with rounds 17 and 18 of the season taking place at Hillspeed's 'home' track, Donington Park in the East Midlands, on 18th/19th September. Before then, the team's Formula Renault BARC squad will be back in action next weekend, 11th/12th September, at Rockingham near Corby.
2010 Ginetta Junior Championship driver standings (after Rds15&16): 1st Tom Ingram, 442pts; 14th Seb Morris, 130pts