INGRAM RETURNS WITH SKYCIG-BACKED GINETTA TITLE TILT Tom Ingram is ready to put all that he learned last season to good use in 2013 as he targets a title triumph in thefiercely-contested, Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship-supporting Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup withJHR Developments – and the ongoing support of a key sponsor has left him with high hopes of being able to truly‘smoke’ his rivals this year.

Despite encountering more than his fair share of misfortune along the way, Ingram’s maiden campaign in the ITV4live-televised Ginetta GT Supercup’s flagship G55 class in 2012 yielded no fewer than six victories, 17 podiumfinishes, four pole positions, six fastest laps and an impressive third place in the final drivers’ standings. If it was alearning year, then the talented young High Wycombe ace learned in double-quick time – but with a season’sexperience in the car now under his belt, he admits that the stakes have been suitably raised.


 In support of his ambition, both electronic cigarette pioneers SKYCIG and leading energy drinks brand KX havereaffirmed their backing for Ingram for a second consecutive campaign – and the 19-year-old KX Akademyprotégé, British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Star, MSA Academy member and KENNETT brand ambassadoris fired-up in the extreme to repay their enduring faith.


 “SKYCIG have really ramped up their involvement and come on-board in a big way this year,” he explained, teasingthat the new livery of his JHR Developments-run G55 will be unveiled at the championship’s media day atSilverstone on 5 March. “They were clearly pleased with the results of our relationship last year, and having theirsupport again is a massive boost to our challenge.


 “For me, it’s amazing and such a novelty to have two major brands – SKYCIG and KX – confirmed as partners sofar in advance of the season. That’s an incredibly exciting prospect. It gives us the possibility to get some testingin, which is a luxury we’ve never really had before – so now it’s up to us to make the most of it.


 “I’m really happy to be staying with JHR. We made a tremendous amount of progress last year, and over thesecond half of the season, we really stepped it up in terms of the development of the car as well as my knowledgeand understanding of how to extract the best from it. It was extremely beneficial for me to be able to control thatdevelopment and steer it in the direction I wanted it to go, and to be remaining with the same team to reap therewards of all that effort – for the first time in my car racing career – is fantastic.“My confidence both in the car and inside the team is really high right now, and I’m really looking forward toworking with all the boys again.

We know how each other operates, and I’d like to think all this will enable us to hitthe ground running in the first round at Brands Hatch. I can’t wait for it all to kick off!“It’s always difficult to accurately assess competitiveness at this early stage of proceedings, but there’s no questionthat the calibre is going to be exceptionally high – there are plenty of very quick drivers in the field, both returneesand newcomers. I want to take everything I learned last year and really shift it up another gear. We need to showexactly what we’re capable of right from the word ‘go’, because there’s only one aim in 2013 – the title.”


 Ingram’s infectious determination and optimism are, moreover, palpably shared by SKYCIG UK CommercialDirector Damien Scott and JHR team principal Steven Hunter, both of whom expect great things of the formerGinetta G50 Champion, Ginetta Junior Champion and British Karting Champion over the coming months.


 “SKYCIG have demonstrated unquestionable commitment to motorsport by renewing our partnership with Tom forthe 2013 season,” underlined Scott. “Our sporting portfolio has expanded significantly in recent months, but thissponsorship deal has a special place in SKYCIG folklore for being our first major agreement. Being associated withthe TOCA package is great exposure for the brand, and we are right behind Tom in his 2013 quest. We lookforward to working with JHR Developments, Ginetta and the Ingram family once again.”


 “Last year, we only received the car a couple of days before the first race,” added Hunter. “Looking at hisperformance over the campaign, had we been able to benefit from some pre-season testing and had he notsuffered from a degree of bad luck, I’m fairly confident Tom could have clinched the title. To be in the position thatwe are now certainly puts us in far better stead from a preparation point-of-view, and the objective for this yearhas to be to capitalise on everything we have learned together.


 “Tom proved that he is capable of winning on six occasions in 2012, and we’re over-the-moon to maintain thepartnership into 2013. He established an excellent relationship with every single member of the team last year andeverybody bonded superbly – which really shone through in the results as the season progressed. Ultimately, we’reall striving for the same goal – and that’s to win.”