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Marcus Simmons

BTCC Oulton Park: Ingram overcomes late qualifying pause to grab pole

Ingram, who was allowed 4.5 seconds per lap of hybrid boost deployment on his Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N as part of the series’ new system of success handicaps, set a new qualifying lap record for NGTC machinery and finished up 0.186 seconds to the good.

The polewinning run came 20 minutes into the scheduled half-hour session, and Ingram followed up his quickest lap with another that was also quicker than anyone else managed.

Second fastest was Rory Butcher, who had just leapt from 29th and stone last due to a track-limits time deletion to second when the red flag appeared for the first of two occasions, because the Team Hard Infiniti of Rick Parfitt had conked out and was parked in the escape road at the Hislops chicane.

There were just over five minutes remaining of the session, so the clock was reset to allow for 10 minutes, only for Aiden Moffat’s Laser Tools Racing Infiniti to pull off at Island and cause a second stoppage with less than a minute to go. Even so, Ingram’s pole never looked in doubt.

“I’m really pleased with that,” he said. “It’s great to get it [his Oulton Park poor record] off my back.

“It’s not been the kindest track to me, but it’s a byproduct of having a strong start to the year so I’ve always ended up coming here with a lot of ballast.

“With hybrid [penalties] you can still have a fantastic car, and the car is phenomenal – it did everything I wanted it to. We’re in good shape.”

Butcher, allowed 12s of hybrid usage, bounced back from a difficult start to the season, which continued as the teams arrived at Oulton – Speedworks Motorsport had to change the engine in his Toyota Corolla before proceedings kicked off on Saturday.

Tom Ingram, Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 Hyundai i30N (Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images)

Dan Lloyd (10.5s hybrid) made it a good day for Excelr8 by backing up Ingram and putting in by far his best qualifying performance of 2022.

Lloyd was the last significant improver and moved up to third before the session was red-flagged for the second time.

Adam Morgan sat in second place for much of the session, but failed to improve after the early runs in his Ciceley Motorsport BMW 330e M Sport, which will start the opening race from fourth on the grid.

Ash Sutton did a great job with just 1.5s per lap of hybrid use to plant his Motorbase Performance Ford Focus in fifth position.

Team-mate Dan Cammish set a lap good enough for third, but this was deleted due to track limits so he will start seventh.

In between the two Fords is free practice pacesetter Dan Rowbottom with his Team Dynamics Honda Civic Type R, with team-mate Gordon Shedden two spots behind in eighth.

Colin Turkington, using 3s of hybrid, was a late improver to get up to ninth in his West Surrey Racing BMW, while championship leader Josh Cook, whose BTC Racing Honda had no hybrid use allowed, will share the fifth row.

Jake Hill, fifth in the championship, will start his WSR BMW from 15th. His bid to break into the top 10 was scuppered as he emerged from Old Hall and found the Excelr8 Hyundai of Tom Chilton, emerging from the pitlane, moving into his path.

The two cars made contact and Hill went to the pits with grass in his radiator, and he had just started a last-ditch flying lap when the red flag appeared for the second time.

BTCC Oulton Park qualifying results

Cla Driver Chassis Time
1 United Kingdom Tom Ingram   1'25.468
2 United Kingdom Rory Butcher   1'25.654
3 United Kingdom Daniel Lloyd   1'25.714
4 United Kingdom Adam Morgan   1'25.725
5 United Kingdom Ashley Sutton   1'25.738
6 United Kingdom Daniel Rowbottom   1'25.781
7 United Kingdom Dan Cammish   1'25.793
8 United Kingdom Gordon Shedden   1'25.847
9 United Kingdom Colin Turkington   1'25.907
10 United Kingdom Josh Cook   1'25.930
11 United Kingdom Ricky Collard   1'25.986
12 United Kingdom Stephen Jelley   1'26.011
13 George Gamble   1'26.022
14 United Kingdom Jason Plato   1'26.071
15 United Kingdom Jake Hill   1'26.076
16 United Kingdom Sam Osborne   1'26.147
17 United Kingdom Aiden Moffat   1'26.250
18 United Kingdom Ollie Jackson   1'26.265
19 Bobby Thompson   1'26.288
20 Michael Crees   1'26.307
21 United Kingdom Ash Hand   1'26.388
22 Dexter Patterson   1'26.479
23 United Kingdom Tom Chilton   1'26.487
24 Jade Edwards   1'26.527
25 Ireland Aron Taylor-Smith   1'26.783
26 Jersey Jack Butel   1'26.946
27 Nicolas Hamilton   1'27.060
28 Will Powell   1'27.495
29 Rick Parfitt Jr.   1'27.933
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