Top 50 Drivers of 2022
Topic

Top 50 Drivers of 2022

Autosport 2022 Top 50: #47 Tom Ingram

1st in British Touring Car Championship

Autosport 2022 Top 50: #47 Tom Ingram

Nobody won as many races as Tom Ingram in this year’s British Touring Car Championship.

He was quick, kept up his superb racecraft and showed immense mental capacity in absorbing the requirements brought by the introduction of hybrid power boosts for 2022. So much so that Ingram is one of the two drivers who sits on the series’ Sporting Working Group, which came up with the hybrid sporting rules tweaks for 2023.

Ingram’s move to Excelr8 Motorsport’s Hyundai before 2021, far from being a risk, has turned the nearly-man into a champion with a team moulded around him. And don’t they love him…

Top 10: Ranking the best BTCC drivers of 2022

Engineer’s insight: Working with the BTCC champion

Every BTCC watcher knows Tom Ingram as one of the brightest, chirpiest, most articulate stars of the paddock, but what’s he like when he’s behind the wheel of his Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N Fastback?

“Really calm,” says his long-time race engineer Spencer Aldridge. “He does an awesome job. The driving comes so naturally for him that he’s got so much spare capacity, so he can be working out championship points and he wants to know gaps, and can be thinking of loads of other things whilst leading and doing the quickest lap times.

Aldridge says one of Ingram's strengths is he remains calm behind the wheel

Aldridge says one of Ingram's strengths is he remains calm behind the wheel

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

“That makes it really easy for me – I can talk to him at any point on the circuit, he’s not worried about just doing it on the straight or if he’s making a pass or anything like that.

“He’s almost a bit too smart. He’s working out points, trying to figure out gaps and what tyre everyone’s on, how many laps of hybrid they’ve got left – it’s hard work for us in the garage to keep up with then… We’ve got a group of three or four of us making sure we’ve got all the answers for him ready!”

Insight: The double act that carried Ingram to long-awaited BTCC title glory

While Aldridge first engineered Ingram in 2018, the last season of the Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis project, their relationship dated back to the new champion’s baby steps in the series in 2014.

“When he first moved to touring cars I was his number one mechanic at Speedworks in 2014 and again in 2015,” explains Aldridge, “and then 2016 I started going into the engineering side.

“I’d gone back to university to finish my degree part-time. I was doing the number one mechanic role in the week, and then at the weekends I moved onto the data side of things for 2016 and 2017, and then in 2018 Geoff Kingston who was our engineer had left, and they moved me up to be Tom’s race engineer.”

Since the beginning of that partnership, which went via the Toyota Corolla GT on which Aldridge led the design before landing at Excelr8, Ingram is second in a closely matched quartet that leads the BTCC winners’ table over the past five years. His 19 wins trail only Ash Sutton (20) and lead Josh Cook and Colin Turkington (18 apiece).

Aldridge has been alongside Ingram on the journey that finally yielded the BTCC title

Aldridge has been alongside Ingram on the journey that finally yielded the BTCC title

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

shares
comments

Related video

Autosport 2022 Top 50: #46 Nick Tandy
Previous article

Autosport 2022 Top 50: #46 Nick Tandy

Next article

Autosport 2022 Top 50: #48 Lucas Auer

Autosport 2022 Top 50: #48 Lucas Auer
The 2022 Autosport Awards winner using Esports as a launchpad Plus

The 2022 Autosport Awards winner using Esports as a launchpad

A trail blazed in Esports has inspired a revamp of the annual prize that aims to discover the best young engineering talent. Autosport met Autosport Williams Engineer of the Future winner Michael Preston

General
Jan 18, 2023
The plug in and play stand-ins who got their timing just right Plus

The plug in and play stand-ins who got their timing just right

Nyck de Vries’s Italian GP exploits weren’t the first post-eleventh-hour call-up in motorsport history, and won’t be the last either. Here are some offbeat tales from the past

General
Dec 26, 2022
Porsche’s hopeful Le Mans future meets its illustrious past Plus

Porsche’s hopeful Le Mans future meets its illustrious past

Rising sportscar star Adam Smalley had to pinch himself when offered the chance to drive the car that won the world’s most famous enduro in 1987

Historics
Sep 6, 2022
Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return Plus

Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return

The iconic Lola name is being relaunched after it was taken over by new ownership. Part of that reboot is a planned return to racing, though the exact details of this are still to be finalised - though its new owner does have a desire to bring the brand back to the Le Mans 24 Hours. But romanticism doesn't appear to be the driving force behind this renewed project...

General
Jul 14, 2022
Rating the best drivers of the century so far Plus

Rating the best drivers of the century so far

Autosport's Top 50 feature has been a staple of the magazine for the past two decades since its first appearance in 2002. Here are the drivers that have featured most prevalently during that time

General
Jan 7, 2022
The best motorsport moments of 2021 Plus

The best motorsport moments of 2021

Motorsport produced one of its greatest years of all-time in 2021 despite a backdrop of ongoing COVID-19 challenges and an ever-changing racing landscape. Through the non-stop action Autosport has collected the finest moments from the past 12 months to highlight the incredible drama and joy motorsport generates

General
Dec 31, 2021
The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers Plus

The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers

Making it in motorsport can be tough, and sometimes drivers move elsewhere before their best chance arrives. Here are some of those who made it back

General
Dec 26, 2021
The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes Plus

The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes

It’s rarely mentioned when it comes to assessing the best national contests, but the Brazilian Stock Car series that reaches its climax this weekend has an ever-growing appeal. Its expanding roster of ex-Formula 1 names has helped to draw in new fans, but it's the closeness of competition that keeps them watching

General
Dec 10, 2021