BTCC Croft: Ingram tops chaotic qualifying in wet conditions

Tom Ingram topped a chaotic wet qualifying for the British Touring Car Championship round at Croft, but is poised to lose pole position after apparently failing the post-session ride-height check.

BTCC Croft: Ingram tops chaotic qualifying in wet conditions

Ingram took his Speedworks-run Corolla around 0.275 seconds faster than the BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R of next-quickest Josh Cook, but it was by no means the fastest lap recorded in the session.

A raft of track-limits offences, predominantly for running wide at the Jim Clark Esses which included title contender Dan Cammish, after he set the quickest time of the session only to be demoted to 16th place in his Team Dynamics-run Honda.

Surprise package Bobby Thompson also set a time good enough for the front row in his Trade Price Cars Audi S3 - and potentially pole should Ingram be excluded - only for that time to be deleted, pushing him down to seventh.

This came amid two red flags, both caused by offs for the Laser Tools Racing Infiniti Q50s.

The first came courtesy of Aiden Moffat, before championship leader Ash Sutton then locked up into Clervaux on his first flying lap after the restart and nosed into the barriers.

"It was an instant lock on the brakes - I couldn't do anything to stop it," said Sutton, who as a result of causing the red flag lost his best time, which would have classified him fourth.

To rub salt into Sutton's wounds, he had a lap deleted for track limits earlier in the session that would put him on the front row, or pole should Ingram be excluded.

Senna Proctor was leading the way at the time of the two red-flag stoppages, having just pumped in a cracking lap in his Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30, and ended the session third, but it appears that he, like Ingram, failed the post-session ride-height check.

Fourth fastest, and potentially ultimately taking a front-row spot, was the older-spec AmD-run Honda of Jake Hill.

Hill led the session early on, only for a left-front puncture to throw him into a wild trip across the gravel at Clervaux.

Fifth and sixth were the two West Surrey Racing-run BMW 330i M Sports of Colin Turkington and Tom Oliphant.

Turkington was quickest in both free practice sessions, but the inclement weather got rid of the rear-wheel-drive machines' traditional pace advantage on this circuit.

With all his time deletions, Sutton ended up eighth behind Thompson, while the Hondas of Tom Chilton and Matt Neal - run by BTC and Dynamics respectively - completed the top 10.

Apart from Cammish, another title contender to finish the session outside the leading contenders was Rory Butcher, who drove his Motorbase Performance Ford Focus to 12th.

Butcher's team-mate Ollie Jackson was another to lose a quick time, which could have put him on the front row if Ingram is thrown out.

Croft BTCC qualifying results

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Josh Cook BTC Racing Honda 1m27.350s
2 Jake Hill AmD Tuning Honda 0.150s
3 Colin Turkington WSR BMW 0.160s
4 Tom Oliphant WSR BMW 0.224s
5 Bobby Thompson Trade Price Cars Racing Audi 0.243s
6 Ash Sutton Laser Tools Racing Infiniti 0.285s
7 Tom Chilton BTC Racing Honda 0.331s
8 Matt Neal Team Dynamics Honda 0.345s
9 Michael Crees BTC Racing Honda 0.379s
10 Rory Butcher Motorbase Performance Ford 0.410s
11 Ollie Jackson Motorbase Performance Ford 0.847s
12 Adam Morgan Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes 0.958s
13 Chris Smiley Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai 1.051s
14 Dan Cammish Team Dynamics Honda 1.144s
15 Aiden Moffat Laser Tools Racing Infiniti 1.153s
16 Stephen Jelley Team Parker Racing BMW 1.421s
17 Sam Osborne AmD Tuning Honda 1.803s
18 Jack Goff Team Hard Volkswagen 1.867s
19 Carl Boardley Team Hard BMW 2.027s
20 Mike Bushell Team Hard Volkswagen 2.386s
21 Jac Constable Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall 2.687s
22 Andy Neate Motorbase Performance Ford 2.971s
23 Jack Butel Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes 2.979s
24 Nicolas Hamilton Team Hard Volkswagen 5.583s
25 Senna Proctor Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai -
26 Tom Ingram Speedworks Motorsport Toyota -

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