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Race report
BTCC Oulton Park (Island Circuit)

BTCC Oulton Park: Ingram beats Sutton as investigations loom

Investigations are likely after two incidents between the top two on the second lap.

Ingram-MAT63700

Photo by: Jakob Ebrey

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BTCC coverage powered by Cataclean

Tom Ingram beat Ash Sutton to victory in the first race of the British Touring Car Championship round at Oulton Park.

But the result was only made concrete post-race after the officials looked into a pair of second-lap incidents between Ingram and Sutton, before deciding to take no further action.

Ingram got a decent getaway from pole position in his Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N Fastback, but front-row partner Ash Sutton’s Alliance Racing-run NAPA Ford Focus ST was instantly on the offensive.

On lap two, reigning and four-time champion Sutton tried a lunge down the inside of the Island hairpin, but there wasn’t enough room to squeeze through and contact put 2022 title winner Ingram into a slide.

Sutton now had the momentum on the inside line to the chicane, but Ingram attempted to turn in from the outside.

There was more contact, and Ingram elected to steer out of the chicane and cut the corners – as he controversially did last time out at Thruxton.

The two stayed close for half the race, before Ingram eked out a margin of over a second, eventually crossing the finish line 1.913 seconds in front.

Photo by: Jakob Ebrey - JEP



Of the incident at the chicane, Ingram remarked: “I deployed hybrid coming down the hill, and that point I’ve got no option other than to make contact and jump through the chicane. It’s always very tricky.

“After that, I was at the mercy of the tyres, I was at the mercy of the brakes, I was at the mercy of everything. There was a lot to try and manage, but it’s good to take the first win of the day.”

Sutton said: “Tom left the door open at the hairpin and I opened that door – there was slight contact but if a door is open a car’s going to fill it.”

On what happened at the chicane, Sutton quipped: “I think he should take up rallycross with the amount of joker laps he’s doing these days.”

Dan Cammish, in the second of the Alliance Fords, survived a bump with Tom Chilton at the first corner and remained close to the leading duo for the first few laps, the Berkshire-domiciled Yorkshireman also gaining the bonus point for fastest lap.

Cammish then came under attack from Jake Hill in his Laser Tools-liveried West Surrey Racing BMW 330e M Sport.

Hill had leapt from seventh on the grid to fifth at the start, before passing the Excelr8 Hyundai of Tom Chilton at the chicane on lap three to grab fourth.

He had just moved into position to make a move on Cammish on the ninth lap when he locked up at the Island hairpin, the BMW running off track and dropping to sixth behind Dan Rowbottom’s Alliance Ford and the sister WSR BMW of Adam Morgan.

Rowbottom had two concerns in the closing laps – the looming attacking threat of Morgan, and a black-and-orange flag for a flapping right-rear wheelarch that went unheeded – before taking fourth.

But Rowbottom was later penalised 30 seconds for ignoring the flag, dropping him to 15th in the results, and promoting Morgan and Hill to fourth and fifth respectively.

Chilton fell away to a distant sixth, but it was the fight behind that could play a major part in the outcome of the forthcoming second race.

With the top 10 in race one all forced to use the hardest available Goodyear tyre from their allocation for race two, and an estimated 1.5-second delta between the hard and the soft at this circuit, most of the runners from the midfield down opted to take the pain of getting their hard rubber out of the way in race one.

Aron Taylor-Smith was the highest-placed of this group on the grid, and remained so in the race, but his Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra had to fend off the Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Corolla of Josh Cook on the Dubliner’s way to seventh place. Cook’s team-mates Aiden Moffat and Rob Huff completed the top 10.

Colin Turkington had trouble getting his WSR BMW away from the grid on the formation lap, and at the start proper he went nowhere. The four-time champion was wheeled into the pits before joining in one lap down.

BTCC Oulton Park - Race one results

  
1
 - 
2
  
Cla Driver # Car Laps Time km/h Points
1 T. IngramTeam Bristol Street Motors   Hyundai i30 Fastback N Performance 15

21'39.143

92.52  
2 A. SuttonNAPA Racing UK   Ford Focus ST 15

+1.913

21'41.056

92.38  
3 D. CammishNAPA Racing UK   Ford Focus ST 15

+4.557

21'43.700

92.20  
4 D. RowbottomNAPA Racing UK   Ford Focus ST 15

+9.858

21'49.001

91.82  
5 A. MorganTeam BMW   BMW 330e M Sport 15

+10.230

21'49.373

91.80  
6 J. HillLaser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport   BMW 330e M Sport 15

+14.700

21'53.843

91.49  
7 T. ChiltonTeam Bristol Street Motors   Hyundai i30 Fastback N Performance 15

+16.238

21'55.381

91.38  
8 A. Taylor-SmithEvans Halshaw Power Maxed Racing   Vauxhall Astra 15

+26.078

22'05.221

90.70  
9 J. CookLKQ Euro Car Parts with SYNETIQ   Toyota Corolla GR Sport 15

+26.646

22'05.789

90.66  
10 A. MoffatLKQ Euro Car Parts with SYNETIQ   Toyota Corolla GR Sport 15

+30.817

22'09.960

90.38  
11 R. HuffToyota Gazoo Racing UK   Toyota Corolla GR Sport 15

+31.366

22'10.509

90.34  
12
M. DobleEvans Halshaw Power Maxed Racing
  Vauxhall Astra 15

+35.664

22'14.807

90.05  
13
R. PearsonTeam Bristol Street Motors
  Hyundai i30 Fastback N Performance 15

+37.165

22'16.308

89.95  
14 C. SmileyRestart Racing   Cupra León 15

+37.944

22'17.087

89.89  
15 A. WatsonToyota Gazoo Racing UK   Toyota Corolla GR Sport 15

+39.218

22'18.361

89.81  
16 S. OsborneNAPA Racing UK   Ford Focus ST 15

+40.996

22'20.139

89.69  
17
N. HalsteadTeam Bristol Street Motors
  Hyundai i30 Fastback N Performance 15

+50.082

22'29.225

89.09  
18
D. DeDuckhams Racing with Bartercard
  Cupra León 15

+51.842

22'30.985

88.97  
19
S. SumptonRestart Racing
  Cupra León 15

+1'34.773

23'13.916

86.23  
20 C. TurkingtonTeam BMW   BMW 330e M Sport 14

+1 Lap

22'50.871

81.83  

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