TOM Ingram increased his lead in the British Touring Car Championship standings following a hat-trick of top-four finishes, including two podiums, at Thruxton last weekend.

It means the Speedworks Motorsport ace will start the next round at Oulton Park, the Northwich outfit’s home circuit, with 17-point advantage in the standings over defending champion Gordon Shedden.

After classifying inside the first five in all but one of nine races to date, the 23-year-old is demonstrating the consistency needed to challenge for the title.

“To head home further in front is incredible,” he said.

“We honestly never expected to do so well, but it goes to show once again what an awesome job this team is doing on a very limited budget.”

Ingram put behind him struggles with his Toyota Avensis in free practice to set the fourth fastest time during qualifying.

And he stayed there for the duration of race one, despite 66kg of success ballast slowing down his car.

With a lighter car for the second sprint, he stole third place on track from Jack Goff (Eurotech Racing Honda Civic) on the fourth lap.

He was making ground on the front two as well before a red flag, following an incident down the order, brought an early end to proceedings.

From fourth on the grid for Sunday’s finale, he overtook Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing Civic) during the opening lap before going on to relieve Rob Austin (Handy Motorsport Toyota Avensis) and then Goff of third and second spot respectively.

“Our expectations were realistic considering the car was carrying extra weight,” said Ingram.

“We were obviously carrying a lot of weight, but it’s a track I love – one that rewards bravery and commitment – and I set a lap record there in qualifying last season.

“The car was fantastic, and I felt we were fast enough to challenge for a win in two of the three races.”

Northwich Guardian:

Speedworks Motorsport driver Tom Ingram crosses the line second in the final British Touring Car Championship race at Thruxton on Sunday. Picture: Matt Sayle Photography

Speedworks are the highest-ranked of the independent entries in the team table, sitting third.

It’s where they want to be ahead of the series’ visit to Little Budworth next week.

“It’s tremendously difficult to record three strong results over a race weekend now,” said team principal Christian Dick.

“We achieved that, which is impressive considering we never carried less than 48kg in additional weight.

“I think we’ve shown as a team that we have the expertise to challenge at the sharp end; the Toyota has been bang on the pace everywhere we’ve been so far.”