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Practice report
BTCC Oulton Park

BTCC Oulton Park: Ingram leads the way in free practice

Reigning British Touring Car champion Tom Ingram emerged with the quickest time across the two sessions of free practice for the fifth round of the season at Oulton Park.

Tom Ingram, Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 Hyundai i30 N Fastback

Ingram set the fastest lap of the early-morning FP1 period in his Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N, 0.022 seconds clear of the Motorbase Performance-run Ford Focus ST of championship leader Ash Sutton.

Ingram also looked set to be the swiftest of all in FP2 with a lap just 0.064s shy of his earlier effort, only to be pipped at the chequered flag by the Team Hard Cupra Leon of Bobby Thompson to the tune of 0.017s.

The prime tyre this weekend is the soft Goodyear compound, which drivers must use in qualifying and for two of the three races, with the unfavoured hard as the option rubber for use in one race.

Most drivers, including Ingram and Sutton, set their quick times in FP1 on the medium-compound tyres they have been allowed to carry over from previous race weekends for free practice usage, while Thompson was one of the few to set his fastest lap in that session on the soft, vaulting to third on the final lap.

But all of the top five drivers in FP2 set their best times on the soft tyre, although nobody beat Ingram’s and Sutton’s times on mediums from FP1.

“It’s really good, I’m really pleased so far,” Ingram told Autosport.

“The car’s feeling really good, and there are no big concerns.”

Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST

Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

When asked if the increase in track temperature since the overcast FP1 was to blame for the slower times on softs, Ingram replied: “I think it’s a little bit of track temperature, but I lost a lot of time when I came across traffic on what should have been my fast lap. It’s more circumstantial than anything.”

Indeed, Ingram’s theoretical best was a 1m25.264s compared to Thompson’s session-topping 1m25.554s.

“A 24.7 or 24.8 I think will be the pole time today,” Ingram continued. “It’s a step into the unknown for all of us, because nobody has driven the soft tyre around here for years.”

Behind Thompson, Josh Cook was fourth fastest in FP1 in his One Motorsport Honda Civic Type R, giving him the same position overall, while the strong form of the Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra team carried over from Thruxton, with Aron Taylor-Smith third in FP2 and fifth overall.

Dan Cammish was sixth overall, but in the top five in both sessions, in his Motorbase Ford, ahead of the West Surrey Racing-run BMW 330e M Sport of Colin Turkington.

Another PMR Vauxhall, that of Andrew Watson, was eighth overall, and fifth in FP2, while an improving Jack Butel was next in his Hard Cupra, and George Gamble completed the top 10 in the lead Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Corolla.

Neither Sutton nor Turkington got in a proper run on the soft tyres; Sutton was sixth in FP2 with a time on the mediums, while Turkington was 23rd, although such is the competitiveness of the densely packed field that they were separated by just 0.6s.

The other main title contender, Jake Hill, was just outside the top 10 in his WSR BMW, after suffering a recurrence of the sensor-related misfire that hit him in race three last time out at Thruxton during FP1.

BTCC Oulton Park FP1 results

Cla Driver Time Gap Interval
1 United Kingdom Tom Ingram 1'25.507    
2 United Kingdom Ashley Sutton 1'25.529 0.022 0.022
3 Bobby Thompson 1'25.577 0.070 0.048
4 United Kingdom Josh Cook 1'25.644 0.137 0.067
5 United Kingdom Dan Cammish 1'25.693 0.186 0.049
6 United Kingdom Colin Turkington 1'25.721 0.214 0.028
7 United Kingdom Ricky Collard 1'26.013 0.506 0.292
8 United Kingdom Daniel Lloyd 1'26.160 0.653 0.147
9 United Kingdom Rory Butcher 1'26.182 0.675 0.022
10 United Kingdom Andrew Watson 1'26.244 0.737 0.062
11 United Kingdom Daniel Rowbottom 1'26.289 0.782 0.045
12 United Kingdom Stephen Jelley 1'26.403 0.896 0.114
13 George Gamble 1'26.474 0.967 0.071
14 Ireland Aron Taylor-Smith 1'26.549 1.042 0.075
15 United Kingdom Adam Morgan 1'26.656 1.149 0.107
16 United Kingdom Tom Chilton 1'26.765 1.258 0.109
17 United Kingdom Jake Hill 1'26.790 1.283 0.025
18 Ronan Pearson 1'26.934 1.427 0.144
19 United Kingdom Sam Osborne 1'27.013 1.506 0.079
20 United Kingdom Aiden Moffat 1'27.042 1.535 0.029
21 Mikey Doble 1'27.108 1.601 0.066
22 Jack Butel 1'27.223 1.716 0.115
23 Dexter Patterson 1'27.461 1.954 0.238
24 Will Powell 1'27.466 1.959 0.005
25 Nicolas Hamilton 1'28.328 2.821 0.862
26 Nick Halstead 1'28.385 2.878 0.057
27 Jade Edwards 1'29.189 3.682 0.804

BTCC Oulton Park FP2 results

Cla

Driver Time Gap Interval
1 Bobby Thompson 1'25.554    
2 United Kingdom Tom Ingram 1'25.571 0.017 0.017
3 Ireland Aron Taylor-Smith 1'25.683 0.129 0.112
4 United Kingdom Dan Cammish 1'25.710 0.156 0.027
5 United Kingdom Andrew Watson 1'25.730 0.176 0.020
6 United Kingdom Ashley Sutton 1'25.804 0.250 0.074
7 Jack Butel 1'25.843 0.289 0.039
8 United Kingdom Josh Cook 1'25.846 0.292 0.003
9 George Gamble 1'25.851 0.297 0.005
10 United Kingdom Jake Hill 1'25.903 0.349 0.052
11 United Kingdom Stephen Jelley 1'25.922 0.368 0.019
12 Dexter Patterson 1'25.938 0.384 0.016
13 United Kingdom Sam Osborne 1'25.944 0.390 0.006
14 United Kingdom Daniel Lloyd 1'25.970 0.416 0.026
15 United Kingdom Daniel Rowbottom 1'26.000 0.446 0.030
16 United Kingdom Ricky Collard 1'26.090 0.536 0.090
17 United Kingdom Aiden Moffat 1'26.217 0.663 0.127
18 United Kingdom Tom Chilton 1'26.300 0.746 0.083
19 Ronan Pearson 1'26.302 0.748 0.002
20 United Kingdom Rory Butcher 1'26.303 0.749 0.001
21 United Kingdom Adam Morgan 1'26.344 0.790 0.041
22 Mikey Doble 1'26.362 0.808 0.018
23 United Kingdom Colin Turkington 1'26.432 0.878 0.070
24 Will Powell 1'26.883 1.329 0.451
25 Nicolas Hamilton 1'27.106 1.552 0.223
26 Nick Halstead 1'27.566 2.012 0.460
27 Jade Edwards 1'28.126 2.572 0.560

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