Tom Ingram came to Knockhill last week to test his Toyota GB backed Corolla around the unique twists and turns of Knockhill ahead of the 2020 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season.
Ingram, runner up in 2018 looked odds-on to be a genuine title contender in 2019 – with the switch to the shorter wheel-based Corolla adding further creed to his championship billing. However, despite winning four races during the course of 2019 – it was a lack of consistency, which he enjoyed in 2018 (3 wins and 6 podiums), which ultimately saw him miss out on another championship battle last year.
However, with a solid year under their belts, the Speedworks and Toyota GB squad look ahead to 2020 with tangible gains in sight. 2019 was the first year for the new car, for both the team and driver. However, with a full season behind them in terms of knowledge of the car, and more importantly, reference data from each and every circuit on the BTCC calendar – Ingram is looking ahead to 2020 with renewed vigour and with a genuine belief that the data reserve will benefit them massively in 2020.
“Today is vitally important for us. Last year, Knockhill was one of the tracks we struggled at, so we’re back today to iron out a few of those issues in preparation for the season ahead.
“We struggled with the landing the car over bumps, specifically going through the Chicane – sponsored by BlackCircles.com. Not just here, but at other tracks too. We saw that when we went to the smoother circuits (less undulations) we were quick, however, circuits like Knockhill, Oulton and anywhere that had undulations, we’d struggle,” said Ingram.
The car itself is the same as last year, which is the team’s starting point, and from here on in the aim will be to progress the car as far, and as fast as possible before the season starts.
“Where we are now, after that opening year, we have all that data to go back on. In 2019, we turned up here at Knockhill with Toyota Avensis data and tried to make informed decisions on that data versus the Corolla, which didn’t match up.
“Whereas today, we have the Corolla data from last year and already we can see we’ve made some tangible steps to improving the car. Having that data works on two fronts, as a driver you can see what you did the previous year, so you know what you are capable of and where improvements can be made. And, from a set-up and development angle you can see how the changes we make, affect the performance of the car.
“We’re in a strong place and I’m keen to get going and get the scrap underway,” said Ingram.
There’s no-doubt that this BTCC season promises to enthralling. The BMW still remains the car to beat, however, improvements from Honda, Toyota, Vauxhall and of course Laser Tools Racing with
Aiden Moffat and Ash Sutton aiming to set the heather alight in 2020. Not to mention, the newly unveiled Ford Focus of Motorbase Performance in the hands of Rory Butcher, means the competition is as strong this season as it’s ever been.
And, we’ll have front row tickets to all the action when the series heads back to Scotland on 29/30 August. No doubt there will be a few surprises along the way, but we’re all excited to see how
the season unfolds.
Knockhill BTCC Tickets – on sale here!