Tom Ingram heads into the opening round of the 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship this weekend with one target firmly on his radar, lifting the coveted overall title.

Remaining at Speedworks Motorsport for what is now his fifth season in the UK’s premier race series, the 24-year-old is confident of piloting his Toyota Avensis to championship glory.

Clinching both the Independents’ Drivers’ and Teams’ crowns last year, the plucky Cheshire-based outfit have once again worked tirelessly over the winter to further improve their front-wheel-drive machine – testing both overseas and in the UK – with the results leaving Ingram quietly confident.

“We want to go two spots better than we finished last year – the overall title is the only aim for us,” Ingram told BTCC Crazy. “Trying to replicate what we achieved last year is going to be a big ask given how competitive the grid is but we will be giving it everything.

“Given what we have done over the past few years I would like to think that everyone is taking us seriously because we are genuine title contenders now. We are very much in the mix and that is down to all of the hard work of everyone at Speedworks.

“We’ve worked on the making the car as good as it can be, there is always a tenth to be found. I would say we come into this year with a lot more confidence because we know that the direction we are moving forward in is the right one – we’re looking to better our best ever season.”

Ingram enters the year well aware of where his championship aspirations slipped away last year, and he is already focused on making sure that doesn’t happen again this year.

He said: “We need to make our bad weekends better. Everyone says it but this championship can be won on how you limit the damage when you are having a tough weekend.

“Last year for us it was Oulton Park and Croft; we can’t let that happen there or at any of the other circuits this time round. We’ve worked on making sure the car is as strong as it can be at every circuit.”

Looking to join a handful of drivers in winning the opening round of the season for the third year in-a-row, Ingram is upbeat on his chances of once again being the man to beat around the Indy circuit.

“Obviously like everybody up and down the pit lane, the aim is to win the opening round,” he stated. “Everyone is without ballast and it gives you an indication of where the land lies in terms of performance.

“For the past two years we have won round one and I would love to go out there and do it again, it would be the perfect start to the season. We’ve certainly got a real shot at it I feel.”

PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Sayle Photography