Ingram draws first blood in title showdown with race one victory

EXCELR8 Motorsport's Tom Ingram has snatched the British Touring Car Championship points lead after cruising to his fifth win of the season in race one at the Brands Hatch finale.
Tom Ingram (GBR) - Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 Hyundai
Tom Ingram (GBR) - Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8…

Ingram started the race from pole position and led every lap, despite having to contend with two safety car periods, which neutralised his advantage on both occasions.

As a result of the opening race, just six-points cover the top-three title contenders, now led by Ingram, who has a three-point advantage over defending champion Ash Sutton, with Jake Hill a further three-points back in third.

The Hyundai i30N driver executed the perfect getaway from pole position to retain the lead ahead of Toyota Gazoo Racing UK's Rory Butcher, while the battle for the final step of the rostrum raged on behind the leading duo.

NAPA Racing UK's Sutton started the race from third and valiantly held that position for the vast majority of the race, despite nursing a turbo issue following the first of the safety car restarts on lap six.

Following lap after lap of trying, WSR's Hill finally got the better of Sutton in the dying stages of the race, but the defending champion somehow managed to cling onto fourth position ahead of Team BMW's Colin Turkington, who had to settle for fifth.

Turkington very nearly followed his BMW stablemate up into fourth position, but found himself on the outside of a sideways Sutton on the exit of Sheene Curve.

The four-time champion will need to overhaul a 32-point deficit to have any chance of clinching a record-breaking fifth BTCC title.

Car Gods Racing's Adam Morgan also found himself mired in the heart of the title battle to finish in sixth, ahead of Team HARD's Bobby Thompson in seventh.

George Gamble followed closely behind to record an eighth-place finish, while Dan Cammish tumbled down the order from fourth to an eventual ninth place finish.

Team BMW's Stephen Jelley narrowly pipped BTC Racing's Josh Cook across the line to finish in tenth ahead of the Honda runner.

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