Tom Ingram has re-signed for Speedworks Motorsport Toyota for the 2018 British Touring Car Championship having produced a stellar title challenge last year before narrowly coming up short in third place in the drivers’ championships.

The 24-year-old became the surprise early leader in the 2017 BTCC standings thanks to two wins and three additional rostrums over the opening three rounds to build-up a 17-point lead after Thruxton but a mid-season lull having struggled with extra success ballast saw Ingram fail to return to the podium until race three at Knockhill.

A win and a second place at Silverstone kept the Speedworks Motorsport driver in the hunt of the BTCC title but missed out at the Brands Hatch season finale to finish third overall. Ingram still secured the BTCC Independents’ Trophy, along with Speedworks Motorsport taking the Independents’ Team title plus the best average qualifying record and most laps led by any driver to cap an impressive 2017.

As a result, Ingram is keen to build on a hugely successful season by targeting the 2018 BTCC drivers’ crown which was won by Ashley Sutton last year.

“After what we accomplished last year, there can only be one objective for 2018 – the overall title,” Ingram said. “There was never any question that we would be staying with Speedworks this year. They’re like my second family. The dynamic between us works so well – it has since day one, and it’s getting stronger all the time.

“We’re still a comparatively small, tight-knit team, so to do what we did last season with the resources we had – up against a whole host of more experienced and better-funded rivals – was nothing short of phenomenal. Winning both Indie championships was a huge tick in the box, but we don’t plan to stop there – we want to push for even more this year, and I see no reason why we can’t achieve that.

“Several teams are rolling out new cars, whereas the Avensis is a proven package which means we can hit the ground running in the curtain-raiser at Brands Hatch in April, and on the driving side, I’m not afraid of anyone.

“I’ve shown that I can race against and regularly beat the Jason Platos, Colin Turkingtons and Matt Neals of this world, and I think 2017 demonstrated that the tide is turning in the BTCC and that the old guard that have ruled the roost for so long are being replaced by the new generation. And I want to be the standard-bearer of that new generation for many years to come.”