Mike Jordan 'isn't impressed easily', concedes his son - and Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship front-runner - Andy, so for Tom Ingram to be described as 'outstanding' by the Eurotech boss and likely to 'go a very long way' in motorsport after a day spent driving Pirtek Racing's Vauxhall Vectra at Silverstone must be considerably high praise indeed.

The Pirtek test was the prize for Ingram's success in clinching the 2010 Ginetta Junior Championship crown - his maiden car racing title in only his second season out-of-karts - at Brands Hatch last month, and the highly-rated young High Wycombe star admitted that the prospect of taking to the track around the most famous circuit in Britain behind the wheel of a fully-fledged, 300bhp touring car had left him rather sleepless...

"I was absolutely buzzing beforehand," he confessed, at 17, one of the youngest people ever to drive a BTCC machine. "I couldn't get to sleep the night before because I was so excited about it all, and when I got to Silverstone I just couldn't wait to get out in the car!

"The first lap felt really, really strange. It's the first front wheel-drive racing car I've ever driven, and I went through Copse Corner sideways at one point - it was just mental! I also had to adjust to the size of the car, the speed, the gearbox, the weight, the brakes and the braking distances. It wasn't any one thing but rather a combination of everything, really - it's just so massively different to the Ginetta in every respect."

After settling himself into his new 'office' throughout the morning, Ingram swiftly demonstrated that he was not fazed in the slightest and began to post some very respectable lap times indeed after lunch, working his way down to a mere half-a-second shy of Jordan's benchmark come the end of the day - an effort that would have put him, incredibly, 16th on the grid during the BTCC's visit to Silverstone back in August, and one that he set in significantly cooler and therefore theoretically slower conditions.

"The Vectra really is so much fun to drive," he enthused. "I wanted to stay out there all day! When they gave me the 'IN' board, my heart just sank! Honda Racing were there as well, and it was a surreal feeling to be going round Silverstone in a touring car and to then look in the mirror and see two-time BTCC Champion Matt Neal chasing me - that was pretty cool.

"It was a just an awesome, mega day - one of the best days of my life - and I'm so grateful to Ginetta owner Lawrence Tomlinson, Eurotech and Pirtek, because to be given such a special opportunity as this showed great belief in me. It was a dream come true, and I loved every minute of it - and driving a touring car is definitely something I could get used to! Hopefully, I might have been able to turn a few heads, too..."

Jordan Jnr - who raced the venerable Vectra, a BTCC favourite for well over a decade in its various guises, to a brace of victories this year at Croft and Brands Hatch - admitted that he was left somewhat awestruck afterwards by his young prot?g?'s self-assured performance.

"Tom did a sterling job, much better than I'd thought he would get on," he enthused. "He's really enthusiastic and he seems very intelligent with a very switched-on approach - and he was quick, as well! I don't really want him to get too much quicker, or he will be after my drive! My dad was very, very impressed by Tom, and he isn't impressed easily!

"Most of the time he was losing was in high-speed places like Copse, which is natural and what you would expect as the last thing you find in a touring car is corner entry speed in the quick stuff - but he chipped away at that throughout the day and just got better and better and better. It's all a confidence thing.

"I think if he went to other tracks like Oulton Park or Donington Park or Brands Hatch, it would be another learning curve and would help to bring him on even more - but through the slower corners, he was pretty much matching me, which was bloody good for his first day in the car, I thought!

"He took everything on-board from the data and always went out and went quicker on the next run, which was good to see. Sometimes you can keep explaining things to people and it's like banging your head against a brick wall, but Tom listened to everything we were telling him, really soaked the information in and learned from it all.

"He didn't put a foot wrong all day - he was a real breath of fresh air and we were all really pleased with him. It was just a shame the day went so quickly - I'd like to have another day with him if we could arrange it! If I was told Tom was joining me in the team next year, I would look forward to it hugely."

Whilst that is admittedly - due to budgetary constraints - an unlikely scenario, Jordan Snr was palpably every bit as struck as was his son by the ex-British Karting Champion's prowess and extraordinary turn-of-speed.

"It was a very good day all-round," confirmed the former BTCC race-winner and British GT Champion. "The Vectra was obviously a big change from anything Tom had ever driven before, and a modern-day BTCC car is a tricky car to get decent pace out of, but he approached it all incredibly sensibly.

"I told him at the start that it was not by going fast that he was going to impress us, and the worst thing that he could have done would have been to go and stick it in the gravel on his first run when the circuit was all horrible and slippery still - but he didn't put a single foot wrong all day and drove perfectly.

"We ended up giving him a lot more track time than we had planned, purely because we were so hugely impressed with his whole attitude and we wanted to give him the best opportunity possible - and he really grabbed that opportunity and just did an outstanding job. He learned a lot, and at the end of the day he was bloody fast - faster than we'd thought he would be. If he had a few more test days, it wouldn't take long before he is absolutely right-on-the-money in terms of pace.

"I'm unfortunately not in a position to be running a second touring car next year, but if all-of-a-sudden I had a 'phone call from a sponsor wanting to come on-board that did allow me to do that, Tom would be very, very high up my list to put into it. He absolutely has a bright future in the sport. His family are in a similar situation to what I've been in with Andrew - unless we get the sponsorship, we don't go racing - but all Tom needs is the finance behind him, and he'll go a very long way."

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