Tom Ingram has secured his first pole position of 2019, pipping Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Dan Cammish by two thousandths of a second this afternoon at Snetterton.
It was Cammish who originally set the benchmark early on in the 30-minute qualifying session, beating the qualifying lap record in impressive style. Ingram would then set a 1:54.737s lap-time to put him on pole position for the first of three races tomorrow.
Ingram’s pole position marks the first one for the new Toyota Corolla and the first for Toyota GB since their return to the BTCC.
“It’s fantastic and I’m so pleased,” said Ingram. “We’ve been quietly going about trying to understand everything about the car just nibbling away. We’ve found some amazing things at the tyre test and ticked a lot of things off that we wanted to try.
“Everyone will have made a step, and we’ve gone another step further still. A heck of a lot of work has gone in behind the scenes. It’s great to get the Corolla’s first pole and the first on Team Toyota GB’s BTCC return. It’s always close here and I’m really looking forward to tomorrow. I’ll sleep tonight as I’ve got that monkey off my back!”
Cammish admitted there was nothing more he could have done in today’s qualifying session as he felt he got the maximum out of his car.
“Two thousandths of a second is nothing but there wasn’t any more I could do,” admitted Cammish. “For Tom (Ingram) to jump one better is fair play. I’ve got nothing to feel bad about – the car feels great and I did my maximum.
“The season got off to a bad start, I made mistakes, but since Thruxton we’ve been strong, scoring podiums and outscoring those around us. Tomorrow’s another chance to do that. It’ll be different with the tyre choices this weekend. It depends a lot on where you qualify. Race three is a bit of a lottery and you’ve got to take points out of races one and two.”
AmD Tuning’s Sam Tordoff qualified third on the grid for tomorrow’s opener, admitting he is slightly disappointed after he dipped into the 54’s.
“I’m really happy with the lap time and what we put together there,” said Tordoff. “I was disappointed we were only third there. I would have taken a 1m55.000s all day long so to break into the 54’s is really pleasing.
“The lap time was in the car and it was just a case of extracting it. I struggled to go any quicker after my first run. In some ways, third is a better place to start than second here with the line into turn one. We need to keep our championship momentum going. There’s the tyre unknowns and I’m not sure what we’ll do but you want the least risky option to consolidate a good starting position.”
Motorbase Performance’s Tom Chilton will line up fourth with Championship leader Colin Turkington alongside him in fifth with maximum ballast.
After the session, the BTCC Champion said on Facebook: “Well, the weight is doing it’s job. 54kg’s is making the job of finding that sweet spot difficult, but we’ll keep our thinking caps on.”
Jason Plato will line up sixth, with Andrew Jordan seventh and Matt Neal eighth. Adam Morgan will line up ninth with Rob Collard rounding out the top-10.
Current Independent series leader Rory Butcher will line up 11th whilst Aiden Moffat will start all the way down in 29th as he tries to get to grips with the rear-wheel drive Infiniti.
Header image from BTCC
By Jordan Hollands.