FOUR FROM FOUR AS CHAMPIONSHIP LEADER INGRAM WINS AGAIN Tom Ingram increased his Ginetta Junior Championship lead to 55 points at Knockhill in Scotland today, Sunday, 5th September, thanks to another sensational race winning performance; the ...
FOUR FROM FOUR AS CHAMPIONSHIP LEADER INGRAM WINS AGAIN
Tom Ingram increased his Ginetta Junior Championship lead to 55 points at Knockhill in Scotland today, Sunday, 5th September, thanks to another sensational race winning performance; the Hillspeed driver extending his unbroken victory run to four as the season heads towards its climax.
Beginning round 16 from pole position, his second of the weekend, Ingram initially lost-out to fellow title hopeful Jake Hill but the current series leader piled on the pressure and on lap eight he was able to make his way past the Tollbar Racing driver for the lead.
Showing immense commitment through the daunting John R Weir Chicane lap after lap, Ingram pounced on the eighth tour but was forced to take to the grass to complete the move as Hill tried to close the door. Both made it through the turn unscathed though and from that point on, Ingram stretched out to a winning margin of almost five seconds -- his fifth win in total this year.
On the penultimate tour he also set the fastest lap of the race, 1m03.289 seconds (72.31mph), to end the weekend with a maximum haul of 74 points. Just four races now remain in the 2010 title battle and although it's a three-way fight between Ingram, Hill and Louise Richardson, the former is certainly in the box seat following the annual visit north of the border.
"It's been an absolutely perfect weekend", commented Ingram, "I did exactly what I needed to do, it was a bit colder today so the track conditions were slightly different to Saturday but as soon as I managed to break away at the front everything went to plan. The team put a fantastic car under me here this weekend, as ever they do, so thanks to them and all of my sponsors."
Front-row starter Hill made the best getaway at the beginning of the 12-lap race to take the lead from Ingram with Richardson third ahead of Adam Bonham. The first problem for any of the runners then came just a few hundred yards from the start when David Moore was pitched into a spin at the bottom of Duffus Dip.
Into lap two, Ingram went with Hill as Richardson started to be pressed by Bonham while fifth placed Tom Howard worked to fend off Seb Morris, the championship's youngest competitor impressing once again with a superb drive. On lap three, the 14-year-old then grabbed fifth from Howard with a tremendous pass into Duffus -- a cut-back to the inside line sealing the deal.
Morris immediately started to pull away from his pursuers as the fight for the lead gathered pace, Richardson latching on to the back of Ingram and Hill. With the top two slowing each other up, third placed Richardson soon had Bonham on her tail and after she lost momentum at the hairpin the Team Parker Racing driver went through.
Soaking up Ingram's pressure well, Hill looked to probably have the measure of his rival at the midpoint of the race while Richardson worked to get back on terms with Bonham and Morris closed in on the lead quartet.
On lap seven, Ingram started to show his hand and after getting alongside Hill on the run to the hairpin he prepared to challenge for the lead. Hill defended well but out of Clark's on the next tour he succumbed to Ingram's attack and slipped back to second.
Richardson, back into third after passing Bonham on lap seven at the hairpin, tagged onto Hill after he was delayed when losing the lead and she moved past for second place into the hairpin at the end of lap eight. Hill struck back immediately though, using great drive out of the final turn to move back into second over the start/finish straight.
Their battle continued though at Clark's when Richardson took second once more on the ninth tour and a little further back, Bonham had his mirrors full of fifth placed Morris. On lap 10 at Scotsman though, Richardson ran wide through the gravel in her TJ Motorsport entry and after recovering in third she remained there to the chequered flag.
Morris, meanwhile grabbed fourth from Bonham on lap 10 at the hairpin but his incredible drive was tempered on the penultimate lap when a small mistake, while pushing incredibly hard to catch the top three, dropped him to ninth.
Jody Fannin had a problem on the final lap with a moment at Clark's putting him into a spin. Several cars went wide off the circuit in avoidance and then there was a multi-car tangle at the hairpin when Sarah Moore, 2009 Ginetta Junior Champion, tagged Jake Giddings under braking. Post-race, she too was penalised -- Sarah's indiscretion coming as a result of gaining an unfair advantage.
Ingram won some 4.9 seconds clear of Hill with Richardson third and Bonham fourth but the latter was excluded post-race due to yellow flag infringements. This promoted Maverick Domene into fourth, equalling his previous best finish from Silverstone two weeks ago, ahead of Howard and Ryan Ratcliffe in sixth.
Speaking on the race, second placed Hill said: "The first half was really good, I got the lead and had a good battle with Tom (Ingram). He was quicker through the chicane and when he got through there it delayed me and allowed Louise (Richardson) to go ahead as well. I managed to get her back but Tom had gone."
Richardson, annoyed with herself for running through the gravel and losing second place, added: "Unfortunately I chucked it off by myself, the car was quick enough for second but it didn't work out. It hasn't been my best weekend but it's good to be on the podium. I really like the circuit at Knockhill, it's just how the weekend has turned out I haven't enjoyed that much!"
Donington Park in Leicestershire hosts the penultimate two rounds of Ginetta Junior Championship action a fortnight from now, 18th/19th September.
Provisional 2010 Ginetta Junior Championship Positions (after Rd16): 1st Tom Ingram, 442pts; 2nd Louise Richardson, 387pts; 3rd Jake Hill, 383pts; 4th Jody Fannin, 289pts; 5th Tom Howard, 289pts; 6th David Moore, 254pts