The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship brought the curtain down on its 2022 season at Brands Hatch this past weekend (October 8/9) with Bristol Street Motors with TradePriceCars.com’s Tom Ingram being crowned champion for the first time ever.
On what proved to be one of the most thrilling finales in the series’ illustrious history, the Hyundai i30N driver produced a flawless performance in front of a bumper crowd to overturn a seven-point deficit and write his name into the history books.
After being in contention for six successive seasons, the 29-year-old finally secured the most coveted prize in UK motorsport with pole position, two victories and a fifth place around the world-famous Grand Prix layout of the Kent circuit.
Outgoing champion Ashley Sutton settled for runners-up laurels whilst Jake Hill, Colin Turkington and Rory Butcher rounded out the top five in the standings.
NAPA Racing UK clinched the Teams’ Championship whilst BMW wrapped up the Manufacturer-Constructor Championship for a record-extending seventh consecutive year.
Josh Cook claimed the Independent Drivers’ Championship for the first time whilst also helping Rich Energy BTC Racing do the same in the Independent Teams’ Championship. Bobby Thompson was the final champion to be crowned after he edged out George Gamble to lift the Jack Sears Trophy.
Ingram’s pursuit of the title began during Saturday’s final qualifying session of the season where he obliterated the lap record to take pole position ahead of Butcher and Sutton.
Lining up on the front row for the first of Sunday’s three bouts, the front-wheel-drive ace made a perfect getaway and despite having to deal with two safety car restarts, he didn’t put a wheel wrong to clinch a pivotal win which vaulted him to the standings summit.
Behind, Butcher held firm in second whilst Hill came out on top of an almighty battle for third which saw Sutton – who was suffering from a turbo failure – and Turkington firmly in the thick of the action.
Race two saw Ingram extend his lead in the points and with it, take a giant leap towards what would be maiden crown, as he made it two out of two. Despite having to contend with immense pressure from Hill, the front-wheel-drive ace was perfection personified in his way to his fifth win of the season.
That result set up a three-way showdown heading into the final race of the season, with Ingram leading Hill by 11 points and Sutton a further three in arrears.
Starting from tenth virtue of the reverse grid draw – which was made by Jason Plato on what was his final BTCC appearance – Ingram achieved what had been a lifelong dream as he claimed the crown with a superlative drive in the finale.
At the front, Daniel Lloyd ended a rollercoaster season with victory ahead of Cook and Butcher however it was the battle for fourth that had everyone’s attention. Sutton, Hill and Ingram ran nose-to-tail in the closing stages and following a last lap pass on Hill at Paddock Hill Bend, Ingram shadowed Sutton across the line to wrap up an emotional title victory.
To view the full classification of results from all BTCC sessions at Brands Hatch, as well as the final championship standings, CLICK HERE.
The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship will return in 2023, with the start of brand-new season poised to start at Donington Park on April 22/23.