March 16th

Tom Ingram sets the pace during BTCC Season Launch test at Donington Park

Speedworks Motorsport’s Tom Ingram set the pace in this afternoon’s (Thursday) official test during the Season Launch day for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Donington Park.

The top-18 drivers were all within a second of Ingram’s time, with the 30 cars that participated in today’s test split by just 1.8 seconds, indicating that another extremely close season is in store for the series.

Rising star Ingram was just 0.114s clear of fellow Toyota driver Rob Austin, with Chris Smiley impressing for BTC Norlin Racing with the third fastest time and within two tenths of Ingram. Adam Morgan in his newly liveried Mercedes was fourth fastest ahead of Jack Goff’s Eurotech Honda Civic and Aiden Moffat’s Laser Tools Racing Mercedes.

Michael Epps showed good form in his Volkswagen CC with the seventh quickest time, with Tom Chilton in the brand new Power Maxed Vauxhall Astra eighth. Dave Newsham’s Chevrolet and Ollie Jackson’s Audi completed the top-10.

Champions Gordon Shedden, Colin Turkington, Matt Neal, Jason Plato and Andrew Jordan were 11th, 13th, 14th, 17th and 21st respectively.

The BTCC Season Launch welcomed over 200 members of the media to a large press conference in the morning, as drivers were interviewed by series commentator Alan Hyde, before all the cars were unveiled on track immediately afterwards.

Public entry commenced from 12.30 with a sizeable crowd flocking to the circuit to get their first taste of BTCC action this year. The BTCC race event at Donington Park takes place on 15-16 April (Easter Weekend), with tickets available by clicking here.

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, Season Launch Day test session, top-10 drivers:

1. Tom Ingram, Speedworks Motorsport, Toyota Avensis, 1m09.995s
2. Rob Austin, Handy Motorsport, Toyota Avensis, +0.114s
3. Chris Smiley, BTC Norlin Racing, Chevrolet Cruze, +0.198s
4. Adam Morgan, Cicely Motorsport, Mercedes Benz A-Class, +0.202s
5. Jack Goff, Eurotech Racing, Honda Civic Type-R, +0.251s
6. Aiden Moffat, Laser Tools Racing, Mercedes Benz A-Class, +0.352s
7. Michael Epps, Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing, Volkswagen CC, +0.612s
8. Tom Chilton, Power Maxed Racing, Vauxhall Astra, +0.663s
9. Dave Newsham, BTC Norlin Racing, Chevrolet Cruze, +0.682s
10. Ollie Jackson, with Cobra Exhausts Audi A3, +0.737s

Image credit Mark Lanyon/PSP Images

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