Tim Harvey has heaped praise on impressive rookie Tom Ingram, tipping the Speedworks Motorsport driver for future success in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Championship, especially as many teams are said to be keeping tabs on him.
The 1992 BTCC champion, who works with the 20-year-old on the BRDC SuperStars programme, believes that the Toyota Avensis driver will be a star for the future and that a podium before the season is out to be an achievable target.
After capturing thee Ginetta titles in four years on the TOCA support package, Ingram has made his eagerly anticipated graduation to the BTCC with relative ease. Qualifying in the top six on three of six occasions, Ingram has scored points in 11 of the 18 rounds contested so far.
Despite suffering bouts of bad luck, especially at Oulton Park, Croft and Snetterton, Harvey has been impressed with how quickly Ingram has adapted to the nature of touring car racing.
The ITV4 commentator said: “Tom has made a really strong impression in his first half-season in the BTCC – in what is an extremely tough year in the championship. You’ve got 31 cars all running to the same specification; that means it’s difficult to get into the top 15 let alone the top ten because the grids are separated by literally fractions of a second, but Tom has slotted in almost immediately and already looks like an old hand at touring cars.
“He has impressed a lot of people, particularly with his qualifying pace – and he has been consistently fast, too.
“Whilst there is a certain level of experience required to be able to compete at the front on a regular basis in the BTCC because it really is so different to anything else, he has very quickly picked up the racecraft – and I know for a fact that he is on the radar of several teams and team managers for next year.”
Harvey added: “He has endured a number of issues that have prevented a greater points total, but hopefully his luck will change over the remainder of the campaign to allow him to maximize his opportunities – because he certainly has the pace to do so.
“I would like to see Tom on the podium between now and the end of the season; I think that is an achievable target, and one that would be a real feather in his cap going into 2015.”
Rounds 19, 20 and 21 of the 2014 campaign takes the championship north of the boarder to Scotland, for the annual Knockhill event.
PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Sayle Photography