TOM Ingram demonstrated he is primed to do battle for a hat-trick of crowns in 2012 after racing to a podium finish on his G55 class debut in the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup at Brands Hatch at the weekend.
Off the back of consecutive title triumphs in the Ginetta Junior Championship in 2010 and Ginetta G50 Cup in 2011, Ingram tied up a late deal to join the headlining G55 class with JHR Developments only a week before the season.
Tom knew he would not be as well-prepared as many of his rivals – but he laid down an instant marker by lapping consistently inside the top three in Friday practice on old tyres.
Indeed, until some of his adversaries bolted on new rubber, the talented young Bucks speed demon was fastest of all – by more than half-a-second.
“I never expected to be amongst the quickest straightaway,” he modestly confessed.
“I was just aiming to put some solid points on the board, and I said that if I could get onto the podium,
“I would be over-the-moon. The G55 is faster than the G50, its superior aerodynamics generate more grip, its brakes are sharper and it’s more physical to drive.
“I really enjoyed it, and after I had got used to it more, it was just a case of building up my confidence.”
The racer went on to take a third place podium finish and despite various problems over the course of the weekend with his car, he was more than happy with his start for the new season.
He said the goal for Donington Park next time out will be to claw back some points and move up from the fourth position he currently occupies in the standings.
“Obviously there were ups-and-downs, but I learned a lot and to be working with such a good team who are clearly so passionate about what they do is just fantastic,” he enthused.