DOUBLE DONINGTON PARK POLE FOR CHAMPIONSHIP LEADER INGRAM Hillspeed's Tom Ingram made the best possible start to the penultimate weekend of the 2010 Ginetta Junior Championship with a dominant performance in qualifying at Donington Park today,...
DOUBLE DONINGTON PARK POLE FOR CHAMPIONSHIP LEADER INGRAM
Hillspeed's Tom Ingram made the best possible start to the penultimate weekend of the 2010 Ginetta Junior Championship with a dominant performance in qualifying at Donington Park today, Saturday, 18th September, to seal pole position for rounds 17 and 18 of the season.
In terms of the title race, Ingram's double pole means he has edged a further two points clear of closest rival Louise Richardson -- the TJ Motorsport driver enduring a torrid session in which she ended up with an uncharacteristic 13th best time for race one and only 16th fastest for race two after pitting early on with tyre pressure issues and then unable to make the headway she wanted.
Ingram, who is undefeated in the last four races and has taken a total of five victories so far, came to the fore a third of the way into this afternoon's 15-minute session to move to the top of the times ahead of early pace-setter, and title rival, Jake Hill.
The Tollbar driver, who seemed to get to grips with the drizzling conditions fastest, led the way but with less than 10 minutes remaining Ingram hit the front, although he was then surprisingly usurped by his 14-year-old team-mate Seb Morris.
Ingram and Morris exchanged fastest times and were then joined at the sharp end by the Moore siblings, 2009 Ginetta Junior Champion Sarah and her younger brother David, who each produced a great performance for Eurotech Racing.
With only a third of the session remaining, Ingram held pole ahead of Morris with Sarah Moore third and the impressive William Foster fourth for Tockwith but during the final few minutes the order swapped around once again -- although the Hillspeed drivers remained on top.
Morris did look as though he might steal the top spot away from Ingram as the clocked ticked down but midway through what turned out to be everyone's last lap, the red flags were shown due to a stricken car in the gravel on the outside of McLeans.
Ingram, therefore, concluded the session with the fastest time of 1m32.522 seconds (77.00mph) with Morris, the youngest driver on the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship package, making it an all Hillspeed front-row for the first time in the team's maiden season of Ginetta action.
David Moore outpaced his sister by half a second to grab third on the grid for round 17 with Sarah taking fourth, just over a 10th of a second ahead of Hill. Adam Bonham, meanwhile, rounded out the top six for local Leicestershire outfit Team Parker Racing ahead of Max Coates, Foster, Brad Bailey and Jody Fannin.
The grid for round 18, which is determined by each driver's second best time from qualifying, sees Ingram and Morris sharing the front row again ahead of Sarah Moore, Bonham, impressive privateer Coates and Foster. David Moore will start the second race of the weekend from row four alongside Hill, the seven-time race winner facing a challenging day tomorrow.
Speaking after qualifying, pace-setter Ingram said: "We went out trying to get some heat into the tyres early on and I always expected a few people to spin and maybe even a red flag at some point because of the weather.
"So it was a case of getting a banker lap in fairly early and then working on it from there. I loved the conditions, the car was working really well, and my closest rivals finished a fair way behind me so that's obviously what I need."
Round 17 of the Ginetta Junior Championship will commence at 11.25 tomorrow, Sunday, 19th September, with round 18 scheduled to follow at 16.25. The second race will be screened live on cable, digital satellite and Freeview channel ITV4.
Due to the two bonus points scored for claiming pole position for rounds 17 and 18, Ingram's lead in the driver standings is now up to 57 with Richardson, in second place, four points ahead of Hill. The chasing pack, headed by Fannin, is almost 100 points further adrift.
Ginetta Cars is also doing its bit for the 'Help for Heroes' charity this weekend at Donington with the G40 racers from the Ginetta Junior Championship running special decals. In addition, around 20 members of the armed forces from nearby Chetwynd Barracks in Chilwell, Nottingham, are attending the event as special guests of the Leeds-based marque.
-source: ginetta cars