The Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 team secure second win of Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season
The Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 team returned to the top step of the podium on home soil with a battling second win of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season at Snetterton.
The team, based at Brome near Eye, made the short trip looking to replicate the strong form that they had displayed at the longest circuit on the calendar in the past, with their Hyundai i30 Fastback N having scored its first win at the venue back in 2021.
And although they missed out on a podium spot in both of the opening races of the weekend, reigning champion Tom Ingram gave his team the perfect ending by coming from seventh on the grid to take the victory in round nine.
It came after he had battled his way to the front row of the grid in qualifying, despite feeling decidedly under the weather, before ending the opening race on the softer tyre with the fastest lap but in fourth position.
Race two saw Ingram as the only driver to run the least favourable hard tyre but an impressive drive saw him inside the top 10 in seventh place.
Despite still feeling far from well, Ingram was able to chase down leader Dan Rowbottom in the concluding race before moving ahead at Riches on lap five, and went on to take his first win of the campaign – leaving him second in the standings.
“Scoring a win was the last thing I expected heading into race day as I really didn’t feel 100 per cent, but I think the adrenaline when you get out on track helped to pull me through,” he said.
“Coming here, it was all about scoring as many points as we could and we got into a good position in qualifying, which I think was key.
“After the first few corners of race one, it would have been easy to let my head drop but I was pleased to battle back to fourth and the car felt good on the soft tyres.
“Given that we were the only car on the hard tyre for race two, it was always going to be a challenge and to take seventh spot was a really solid result – I feel we maximised what we could.
“Our strategy with the tyres really paid off in race three and to come from P on the grid to win is fantastic, even if it took everything I had.”
He added: “To come away from the weekend second in the points, all things considered, is fantastic, and hopefully it’s something we can build on it when we head to Thruxton.”
EXCELR8’s other drivers also helped to pick up points with Ronan Pearson, who qualified in 14thdespite having never dirven the Hyundai at Snetterton before, came home 12th in the opening race and also scored with a 14th in race two.
Max Chilton was one behind him in that round 8 encounter, and in round nine finished just outside the top 10 in 11th. For Nick Halstead, who had to have an engine change that saw him miss the opening session, 21st was to be the best of his frustrating weekend.
While acknowledge the contribution of all four, team owner Justina Williams paid tribute to her number one driver for making their Norfolk homecoming another unforgettable experience.
“Huge credit has to go to Tom Ingram to get that result when he was feeling ill, but I think Tom Chilton, Ronan and Nick have also done a good job in the races today and performed well considering the additional challenges of the tyre rules and some incidents outside their control.
"We can go to Thruxton in confident mood, and will hopefully be right in the fight for some more silverware."
The British Touring Car Championship moves to the fastest track on the UK calendar, Thruxton in Hampshire, over next weekend.