Tom Ingram is confident that his race pace will carry him forward as he lines up ninth for the opening Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship encounter of the day at Brands Hatch.

The Speedworks Motorsport driver struggled to find the balance in his Toyota Avensis in what turned out to be frenetic first qualifying session of the year yesterday.

Having topped the times in free practice one, the multiple race winner was unable to storm to the front row of the grid, like he has done in previous years at the season-opener.

Instead lining up on row five for race one, Ingram is optimistic that he will be in good shape and able to make progress around.

“We struggled with the balance of the car a little bit,” Ingram told BTCC Crazy following qualifying. “For some reason we didn’t really have it all day; it is not as good as we know it can be.

“That being said, we’ve made a lot of changes and I think we know what direction we are going in to bring it back to where it should be.

“It is a competitive grid so to come away P9 isn’t the worst thing but it speaks a lot of what we are out to achieve this that there is a little bit of disappointment.”

Turning his attention to the first of today’s three races, Ingram added: “We need to keep our nose clean, it is the first lap of the first race of the season so who knows what may happen.

“I’m confident in our race pace though, I think that will be strong so the aim is to move forward and bank some solid points and see where we get to.”

PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Sayle Photography