FOURTH WIN OF YEAR FOR IMPRESSIVE INGRAM AT KNOCKHILL Ginetta Junior Championship points leader Tom Ingram drew further clear of his rivals at Knockhill in Scotland this afternoon, Saturday, 4th September, with a tremendous win during the 15th...
FOURTH WIN OF YEAR FOR IMPRESSIVE INGRAM AT KNOCKHILL
Ginetta Junior Championship points leader Tom Ingram drew further clear of his rivals at Knockhill in Scotland this afternoon, Saturday, 4th September, with a tremendous win during the 15th round of the 2010 season -- his third success on the trot.
Undoubtedly the form driver over the course of the last couple of events, Ingram now holds a 44 point advantage over closest rival Louise Richardson with Jake Hill eight points further adrift as the title race enters its final stages.
Knockhill's undulating circuit always provides great racing and the Ginetta Juniors didn't disappoint with some terrific battles right throughout the order. At the front though, Hillspeed driver Ingram continued where he left off at Silverstone a fortnight ago and took his fourth victory of the year more than five seconds clear of Hill, who was a further four seconds ahead ofTom Howard.
Along with the actual victory itself, there were two other key moments for Ingram in terms of the championship -- Hill running wide off the circuit at the chicane on lap four and Richardson being tipped into a costly spin exiting Clark's on the second tour after contact with Adam Bonham.
Both assisted Ingram's efforts but he's been the pace-setter from the off this weekend, leading the way during testing on Friday and then heading free practice this morning. During qualifying, Ingram continued his dominance by taking pole position for rounds 15 and 16 -- three 10ths of a second and two 10ths of a second to the good over Tollbar Racing's Hill in each instance.
At the start of today's 12-lapper, the two title protagonists made an even getaway but Ingram held the inside line for Duffus Dip to lead as the pair pulled well clear of the chasing pack in just a couple of corners. Richardson held third place in her TJ Motorsport G40 ahead of Team Parker's Bonham but the latter grabbed the spot at the hairpin at the end of the opening lap.
Into the second tour, Ingram and Hill were an incredible two seconds clear but the early action kicked-off through Clark's when Richardson and Bonham came together while running side by side over the kerbs. Pitching Richardson, who was on the outside, across the nose of Bonham's car, the title contender spun onto the grass on the infield but luckily managed to recover -- albeit at the back.
Into lap three the lead changed hands when Hill produced a good move into Duffus Dip and due to the incident involving Richardson and Bonham, Howard took third ahead of Eurotech's David Moore with Bonham recovering in fifth just ahead of the outstanding Seb Morris; up from an impressive seventh on the grid.
Producing a truly sensational effort on his Knockhill debut, 14-year-old Morris is really starting to make a serious impression on the Ginetta Junior Championship in what is his first year of car racing action. Slipping to eighth early on, he battled back superbly and in the end made his way through to a stunning fourth place -- just a couple of seconds shy of a maiden podium.
Back at the front, Hill succumbed to pressure from Ingram as they headed for the chicane and he ran wide through the gravel. Giving the latter opportunity to extend his advantage, Hill's error also enabled team-mate Howard to go through to second although they switched again on lap five.
From that point on Ingram was never challenged as he cruised to a 5.4 second victory and on the ninth tour he posted a new lap record for the G40 racer, a time of 1m03.035 seconds (72.60mph).
Hill finished four seconds ahead of Howard with Morris in fourth thanks to a tremendous pass on the brakes into the hairpin on lap eight. David Moore, the target of Morris' attack, took fifth 0.1 seconds clear of Bonham with Maverick Domene in seventh, Jody Fannin eighth, Jake Giddings in ninth and Alex Austin rounding out the top 10. Richardson, meanwhile, fought back into 11th at the finish.
Reflecting on his day's work, Ingram said: "Today went exactly as I wanted, I managed to get away after a couple of laps and it all went perfectly. I'm not holding back now, earlier in the year I was too concerned with making sure we didn't get any damage but now I'm just driving as I can. Thanks to all the guys at Hillspeed for doing such a great job, hopefully we can push for another win tomorrow."
Round 15 runner-up Hill commented: "This result is a bit disappointing but hopefully we can do better tomorrow. At the start, Tom (Ingram) had the inside line for the first corner so I chased him and managed to get the lead. But on lap four I took too much speed into the chicane and ran wide. I'm disappointed by that but second place isn't a bad result really."
Third placed Howard added: "It feels good to be back on the podium. Since I switched teams (from TJ Motorsport to Tollbar) I've had to get used to the car again but I'm feeling more confident now."
Round 16 of the Ginetta Junior Championship season will get underway at approximately 11.00 tomorrow, Sunday, 5th September, with Ingram starting the race on pole position -- thanks to his second best time in qualifying -- ahead of Hill, Richardson, Bonham, Howard and Morris.
Provisional 2010 Ginetta Junior Championship Positions (after Rd15): 1st Tom Ingram, 405pts; 2nd Louise Richardson, 361pts; 3rd Jake Hill, 353pts; 4th Jody Fannin, 279pts; 5th Tom Howard, 269pts; 6th David Moore, 245pts
-source: ginetta cars