RECORDS flew at Cadwell Park this weekend as the heavy hitters of Thundersport GP1 were out in force as John Ingram extended his lead with two wins to Phil Crowe’s one.
And while ‘The Ram’ doubled up with a lowest finish of second behind his mate, club hustler Crowe, defending champ Lee Williams was left out of a chance of taking any slices from Ingram’s points advantage before the penultimate round next month.
Although Crowe ended up flying to the fastest lap of the weekend on Sunday, it was Ingram who came out of the gates fighting with the only 1:30s lap of qualifying, putting his Fleetwood Grab Services BMW on pole over a second clear of the PCR Racing S1000RR and Williams’ Team Willo/Hi-Tech Kawasaki.
But as they made the run into Coppice at the start of race one, it was local man Crowe who flew ahead of Ingram, with the two former GP1 champs leading Williams by over a second after just one lap.
Ingram, however, had closed Crowe’s half-second gap by lap four and laid a pass on him the very next lap, taking the lead and holding on all the way to the flag, beating his own lap record with a 1:29.565 in the process to take victory by 0.335s as Williams settled for third a further 10s back.
Corkie Racing’s Kieran Smith bagged the Sportsman honours in 11th from Michael Austin and Will Harper.
On Sunday, however, Crowe wasn’t hanging around and he set about at a searing pace from the off, stretching 2.6s over Ingram by lap three as Williams again tucked into third.
And despite Ingram’s best efforts to reel him in, bringing the gap down to just 1.1s, it wasn’t enough to beat the Lincolnshireman’s 1:29.447s lap record and, reportedly, his new race record, which took an estimated 10s off the previous mark.
MPA Racing’s Austin took a clear Sportsman victory in ninth, while MSG Racing Suzuki’s Sam McFarlane and Kirt Powell rounded out the rostrum.
Despite Crowe looking like he was on for another scorcher in race three as he took the early lead, Ingram soon passed him and hit the front, stretching almost two seconds before being reeled back in as he took the flag 0.920s clear of Crowe, with Williams completing his hat-trick of thirds.
Although he was demoted from seventh overall to 11th after a jump-start penalty, Austin still snatched another Sportsman victory to extend his championship lead, while McFarlane and SCH Motoprep man Robert Smith took second and third.
While Ingram heads to Snetterton in just a couple of weeks’ time with a 95-point lead after his strong battles with Crowe this weekend, he knows he still has a job to do in Norfolk with double points on offer.
“It was great to have Phil there to dice with and I think the bar at this one was well and truly raised just as it was at round one at Donington,” he told UK Clubsport. “There were no team orders or riding tactical to bag safe points, it was just real racing.
“One way or another it will be 100 per cent sorted at Snetterton, we just need a good opener on the Saturday.”
*Images: Ian Boldy