Victories can be a little like buses – you wait an age and then two come along at once. Toyota Gazoo Racing UK's Tom Ingram finally opened his 2020 British Touring Car Championship victory account by beating Honda's Dan Cammish to a race one win at Thruxton… and then repeated the feat in race two.
Ingram started race one from second on the grid but immediately moved into the lead after powering ahead of pole sitter Dan Cammish by turn one.
With the gap steady at just under a second for the majority of the race, Ingram looked relatively comfortable in the lead ahead of Cammish, with Dan’s teammate Matt Neal driving a consistent race a couple of seconds further behind to take third and give drivers using Cobra seats a clean sweep of the podium.
Ingram eventually crossed the line 0.6s ahead of Cammish while three-time Champion Neal’s third place was his first podium finish of 2020 in what has been a frustrating season for the BTCC veteran.
Talking of frustrating seasons, current Championship leader Colin Turkington was running in a useful sixth position for the first half of the race but was then hit by technical gremlins which saw the Team BMW driver rapidly fall down the field and drop out of points scoring positions with what looked to be a loss of power in his BMW 330i M Sport.
With Tom Chilton finishing sixth and Tom Oliphant, Josh Cook and Michael Crees completing the remainder of the top ten in eighth, ninth and tenth, race one was a triumph for drivers using Cobra seats.
On to race two and - just as he had done in race one - Ingram kept his Toyota just out of reach of the Honda Civic Type R of Dan Cammish, despite this time carrying the maximum 60kg of success ballast from his earlier victory.
Cammish made a poor start from the outside of the front row, saying that he was lucky not to stall, and that allowed Team Dynamics stablemate Matt Neal into an early second place, as Ingram built up an impressive margin on the opening lap.
Neal, who said he knew Cammish was quicker than him, allowed his team-mate ahead into the first corner on the second lap.
Cammish wasted little time in eating into Ingram's advantage, and the two lead cars played high speed cat and mouse for most of the race.
Ingram stayed firm on the final lap, beating Cammish to the line by 0.291s.
Neal, outside the top three all season before Thruxton, was delighted to complete the second Dynamics 2-3 of the day, as they celebrated Yuasa's 10th anniversary as team sponsors.
As he had in race one, Tom Oliphant spent his time defending from an attack of BTC Racing Hondas - and this time it was all three of them swarming over the tailgate of his West Surrey Racing-run BMW 330i M Sport.
Oliphant held on to take sixth, from Tom Chilton, Josh Cook and Michael Crees.
Again, there was a tale of woe for pre-meet championship leader Colin Turkington who brought his BMW home in 13th after starting 24th on the grid because of his first-race electrical issue. A result that meant Colin missed out on the reverse grid by just one space.
On to race three and this time it was the turn of “Cobra drivers” Josh Cook and Tom Chilton to take the top two steps on the podium: Josh headed home teammate Tom Chilton to score a memorable one-two for BTC Racing.
Remarkably Josh’s victory means that he has now picked up a BTCC victory in each of his last four visits to the Hampshire circuit.
Cook led from flag to flag with Chilton holding a “comfortable” second place throughout the race. This time (unlike at Oulton Park when a ride height infringement meant that his “victory” was taken from him) Josh’s Honda passed scrutineering which meant he could celebrate his first victory of the season – a win that was made all the sweeter since it followed one of the biggest accidents of his career at Knockhill last time.
A little further back and Team BMW’s Tom Oliphant rounded off a solid day with sixth, whilst BTCC legends Matt Neal and Colin Turkington were seventh and eighth.
Mention should also be made of the third BTC Racing-run Honda of Michael Crees who mixed it with the vastly more experienced Neal and Turkington for much of the race before disaster struck on the final lap as a puncture sent him tumbling towards the back of the order.