Tom Ingram career received a huge boost this week after he was appointed a British Racing Drivers’ Club SuperStar ahead of his debut season in the British Touring Car Championship.
The BRDC is one of the most esteemed and well-recognised institutions in the sport and lists the ilk of F1 world champions Sir Jackie Stewart, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and John Surtees as well as fellow British motor racing legends like Sir Stirling Moss as members.
The brainchild of the club’s former president, 1996 F1 World Champion Damon Hill, the BRDC’s elite SuperStars scheme is described as a ‘focussed and dedicated driver development programme that is unique in its field and unites the indisputable crème de la crème of Britain’s young racing crop’.
As a SuperStar, the Aylesbury Talent Passport holder Ingram will get invaluable assistance in terms of physical training, mental coaching, career guidance workshops, marketing seminars, media and sponsorship advice, state-of-the-art resources and team-building and networking opportunities – not to mention 24-hour support and tuition from the BRDC’s established members.
Only 15 drivers will benefit from this distinguished status in 2014 – and just four of them are new intakes.
It is a statistic that is not lost on the 20-year-old, who is well aware of the magnitude of his promotion to the blue riband initiative.
He said: “What an amazing couple of weeks!
“The BRDC is such a prestigious and exclusive club, and having been one of its Rising Stars since 2011, I feel immensely proud to have been promoted another step up the ladder.
“There are so many advantages to being part of the SuperStars programme, and having access to senior BRDC members’ wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise is a phenomenal boost in what will be a very important season for me.
“Although I have already come a long way since graduating from karting into cars, in joining the BTCC grid, everything is going to really rev up a gear now. It’s a new and massively exciting challenge, and I genuinely cannot wait.”
As part of the programme Ingram will now link up with fellow Vale racing star Mark Webber for a two-day pre-season training event at the Aussie’s Porsche Human Performance Centre at Silverstone.