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Qualifying report
BTCC Oulton Park (Island Circuit)

BTCC Oulton Park: Ingram overcomes hybrid reduction and beats Sutton to pole

Hybrid reduction fails to prevent top two from starring

Tom Ingram, Bristol Street Motors Hyundai i30 N Fastback

Tom Ingram, Bristol Street Motors Hyundai i30 N Fastback

Photo by: JEP

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Tom Ingram beat Ash Sutton to pole position for the first race of the British Touring Car Championship round at Oulton Park.

The 2022 title winner and the four-time reigning champion defied the restrictions placed upon them by the hybrid-reduction regulations on a circuit where they were expected to have a greater effect than most others.

Ingram, third in the championship and allowed just five seconds per lap of power boost in his Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N Fastback, defeated points leader Sutton, entitled to just one second of hybrid deployment on his Alliance Racing-run NAPA Ford Focus ST, by 0.124 seconds.

Ingram, the 2022 title winner, was late to the party in the Quick Six shootout by taking one preparation lap more than the others but blitzed the previous best of reigning and four-time champion Sutton after looking strong all day.

“It felt pretty special if I’m honest,” said Ingram, who topped all three of the qualifying phases.

“This car has felt so alive this weekend; it’s felt superb. It’s an absolute pleasure.

“And the lap just hooked up. I knew the lap I did in Q2 was nice, but that there was a little bit more to find.

“This place is so much about linking things together because there are so many pieces to put in place.”

Sutton had raised eyebrows bearing in mind his paucity of hybrid boost by setting the overall fastest time in Q1, but didn’t quite have an answer to Ingram’s pace when it mattered and was suffering from “hay fever and the old man flu.”

Close at hand was the second Alliance Ford of Dan Cammish, carrying over his good form from recent rounds to take third in qualifying on 9s of hybrid.

He will line up alongside veteran Surrey tin-top racer Tom Chilton, who backed up team-mate Ingram to put his Excelr8 Hyundai fourth.

Free practice pacesetter Dan Rowbottom only just squeaked into Q3 – a lap deleted for a track-limits offense in Q2 meant he was in the drop zone before he just squeezed out a time at the chequered flag to force the West Surrey Racing-run BMW 330e M Sport of Jake Hill out of the picture.

Rowbottom went on to take fifth, with Adam Morgan and his WSR BMW the final participant in Q3.

Hill may have just been edged out of Q3, but he had only just made it into Q2 in a BMW allowed just three seconds of hybrid.

He was out of the top six in Q1 when he embarked upon his final lap, on which he set a purple first sector and eventually set a time that vaulted him to fifth – 0.001s ahead of Josh Cook and 0.002s clear of the unlucky Mikey Doble, who dropped into the ‘relegation’ zone as a result.

Hill will line up on the fourth row with the Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra of Doble’s team-mate Aron Taylor-Smith, while Colin Turkington ended up ninth in his WSR BMW.

The squadron of Speedworks Motorsport-run Toyota Corollas ended up filling the bottom three places in Q2, with Josh Cook grabbing 10th from Rob Huff and Aiden Moffat.

BTCC Oulton Park: Qualifying Report

   
1
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3
   
Cla Driver # Car Laps Time Interval km/h
1 United Kingdom T. Ingram Team Bristol Street Motors 80 Hyundai i30 Fastback N Performance 6

1'24.194

  95.180
2 United Kingdom A. Sutton NAPA Racing UK 1 Ford Focus ST 6

+0.124

1'24.318

0.124 95.040
3 United Kingdom D. Cammish NAPA Racing UK 27 Ford Focus ST 6

+0.197

1'24.391

0.073 94.958
4 United Kingdom T. Chilton Team Bristol Street Motors 3 Hyundai i30 Fastback N Performance 5

+0.303

1'24.497

0.106 94.839
5 United Kingdom D. Rowbottom NAPA Racing UK 32 Ford Focus ST 6

+0.308

1'24.502

0.005 94.833
6 United Kingdom A. Morgan Team BMW 33 BMW 330e M Sport 7

+0.588

1'24.782

0.280 94.520

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