On-track and on the pace: Ingram rapidly getting to grips with new Hyundai
No sooner had he pulled the covers off his new Hyundai i30 Fastback N Performance than Tom Ingram was on-track and putting it through its paces this week, as the Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com star ramps up his preparations for the forthcoming British Touring Car Championship campaign.
Ingram is entering his eighth season in the UK’s premier motor racing series in 2021, having solidly established himself over the past seven years as one of the championship’s biggest draws, with 16 race wins, 41 podium finishes and a brace of Independent Drivers’ crowns to his name.
After proudly unveiling his new challenger at Bristol Street Motors Hyundai in Nottingham, the talented young Bucks-born ace travelled to Croft in North Yorkshire to shake it down for the first time, having previously sampled one of the team’s 2020 cars at Snetterton last month.
On a busy circuit alongside a number of his BTCC rivals, Ingram swiftly got down to business. He was soon posting consistently quick lap times as he evaluated the upgrades brought to the Hyundai since his initial run in Norfolk, with the car additionally now bearing the logos of new commercial partners GKR Scaffolding Ltd and Third Millennium Systems. The 27-year-old will return to the track at Silverstone for the official ‘Season Launch’ event on 22 April.
The competitive action will then get underway on 8/9 May at super-fast Thruxton in Hampshire – where Ingram won twice last year and has reached the BTCC rostrum on a further three occasions – with all of the races to be broadcast live and in high-definition on ITV4.
Tom Ingram, Driver, Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com, said:
“It was good to go back to Croft; it’s a circuit where we don’t tend to do an enormous amount of running and it’s a real all-round test for a car since the lap has a little bit of everything. It was also useful to get a proper full day’s uninterrupted track time, because the two days at Snetterton had been split into a series of sessions that made it difficult to settle into much of a rhythm.
“I’ve got to say, all the guys and girls at Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com have put in a truly phenomenal effort over the winter – building two completely new cars while simultaneously re-prepping the existing two Hyundais was a monumental task, but it was one to which the entire team responded magnificently.
“To then rock up to the first test with my car and not encounter any issues at all was incredible. The i30N ran faultlessly – so much so that I almost forgot it was a brand new car. We managed to complete a lot of laps and it felt fantastic, really strong. The upgrades have had a positive impact in a lot of areas, and there’s still room for improvement, too – we’ve definitely got more performance up our sleeve, which is really encouraging.
“It’s been great to welcome GKR Scaffolding and Third Millennium on-board, and I’m already feeling very comfortable both in the car and in the team. Even though we didn’t throw new tyres at it or go for any ‘hero’ runs at Croft, we were bang on the money pace-wise, so I see no reason at all why we shouldn’t be right in the mix come Thruxton next month – and that’s immensely exciting.”
Justina Williams, Team Owner, Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com, said:
“It was fantastic to see Tom take to the track in his Hyundai for the first time, and for the whole day to run so smoothly was testament to the first-class team we have assembled here at Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com, and the stellar work that everybody has put in behind-the-scenes over the winter to get us to this stage. To be going into only our third season in the BTCC with four potentially race-winning cars is an extraordinary achievement.
“As somebody who clearly knows how to win in the BTCC and put together a committed title bid, I have no doubt that Tom will help to drive us to even greater heights. We are also proud to add GKR Scaffolding and Third Millennium to our growing roster of high-profile partners – they are joining us at such an exciting time and will both add tremendous value to the team. All of us at Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com are feeling hugely energised and motivated for the challenge ahead. We can’t wait to go racing!”
Neil Rowswell, Managing Director, GKR Scaffolding Ltd, said:
“With the start of the 2021 BTCC season now less than four weeks away, the excitement is really building and it’s brilliant to be part of Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com as the team pushes for podium finishes – and possibly more.
“EXCELR8’s merger with Trade Price Cars over the winter makes for a very potent partnership indeed, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Tom can achieve in the team’s Hyundai i30N. I’ve admired his driving style for many years and l get a lot of enjoyment from seeing how he always pushes right to the limit. With the car looking resplendent in its new livery, all of us at GKR Scaffolding Ltd are really proud to be associated with this next chapter in Tom’s career.”
Pete Jones, Owner, Third Millennium Systems, said:
“We are delighted to re-confirm our support of Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com for a third consecutive campaign in the BTCC. The progress the team has made in the space of two years in such a fiercely competitive series has been nothing short of outstanding, and not only was the Hyundai the best-looking car on the grid last season, but its potential was also immediately clear to see, securing a podium finish in just its third race.
“To now add into the mix a driver of Tom’s calibre looks sure to make the team a real contender for honours in 2021. His results speak for themselves, and the only major accolade still missing from his impressive career CV is the overall title, which I have no doubt will be a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’. We look forward to partnering Tom and Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com in their pursuit of the biggest prize in British motorsport.”
Image Credit: Tony Todd Photography (www.tonytodd.photography)