Speedworks Motorsport's Tom Ingram admits making the call to set an early banker during qualifying was key in helping him land a first career British Touring Car Championship pole position at Brands Hatch.

The Toyota Avensis driver backed up his promising free-practice form by clinching a sensational maiden pole position in tricky conditions ahead of reigning champion Gordon Shedden.

Ingram elected to set a hot-lap early in the session after noticing a menacing array of clouds, which quickly produced a prolonged period of light rainfall - enough to temporarily halt any chance of further improvements.

The 22-year old's strategy paid dividends but Ingram felt there was more left in the tank as the conditions improved later in the session.

"Our first pole position so it's quite a thing to tick off of our list so far," Ingram told Crash.net. "The car felt very strong and when I lined up outside the garage at the start of the session I could see the rain clouds coming over.

"I knew I had to get a lap in early here, just to have a banker more than anything else. It seemed to work very well! Got the lap in early and watched the rain come down.

"There was potentially more time in the car. It'll be interesting to look at the data and see what our theoretical best would have been. Even when it started to rain I did a green sector which meant I would have gone slightly quicker."

Having already ended 2015 in eye-catching fashion, the 22-year old believes an enhanced testing programme, compared to previous season's, along with a good understanding of the new RML parts has put them in a strong position for 2016.

"Pace wise I think we're very strong and we seem to be able to look after our tyres quite well. We've also worked on our starts over the winter so, who knows what can happen tomorrow!" Ingram continued.

"We done three days of testing in Portugal - along with the test at Donington Park - so we've had more than we've ever had in previous years. That's certainly been a contributing factor to today but the work that has gone on behind the scenes with the design and everything else, the boys have done a bloody good job!

"The RML parts seem to suit our car more. I'm not sure how but we've just seemed to have hooked up and found a niche in the set up that's working very well. If we can keep that going for the rest of the year I think we'll be very happy. All will become apparent tomorrow."



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