TOM Ingram starts the opening race of the British Touring Car Championship season from eighth on the grid after driving a new car in wet weather for the first time.

He adjusted to damp and drizzly conditions at Brands Hatch behind the wheel of his Corolla, prepared by Speedworks Motorsport under the Team Toyota GB banner, during qualifying on Saturday afternoon.

“It’s been a solid day,” he reflected afterwards.

“And we can take some positives from how the car performed.”

Ingram was ninth fastest of a 30-strong field during the first free-practice session and improved to sixth position after the second 40-minute session shortly afterwards.

A frenetic half-hour of running for qualifying was punctuated by three stoppages as drivers struggled to cope with the greasy surface around the famous Indy Circuit.

Ashley Sutton, the champion in 2017, produced a number of laps in his Subaru Racing Levorg that his rivals could not match to claim pole.

His former teammate, Jason Plato, will line up alongside him on the front row tomorrow after he continued an encouraging start to life driving Power Maxed Racing’s Vauxhall Astra.

Colin Turkington, the defending champion, surged his striking new BMW 3 Series into the top-three during the closing stages.

Three races are scheduled for Sunday at the Kent track and the action will be broadcast live on ITV4 from 10.15am.


Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship


Brands Hatch Indy

Saturday, April 6

1 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing 53.602s (81.12mph)
2 Jason PLATO (GBR) Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing +0.167s
3 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.171s
4 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +0.250s
5 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Team BMW +0.302s
6 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.340s
7 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.346s
8 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Team Toyota GB with Ginsters +0.383s
9 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance +0.485s
10 Josh COOK (GBR) BTC Racing +0.573s