INGRAM GETS EUROPEAN WORKS DRIVE WITH OPEL
British rally driver Chris Ingram will head a works Opel assault on the European Rally Championship Junior category in 2016.
The 21-year-old Ingram has competed in the ERC for the previous two years with a Peugeot Uk-funded 208 R2, but will now move to the Opel team that claimed the championship with Swede Emil Bergkvist last year.
“It’s a proper factory team and I’m really excited about that,” Ingram told MN. “When I went to the factory it struck me that being a works Opel driver is a massive deal for me. Everyone in the factory is really behind the rally programme.”
Ingram was targeted by Opel as the man to defend their Junior title as one of its closest challengers last year, and Ingram will join one of last year’s drivers Marijan Griebel in the team for this campaign.
The third driver is ADAC Opel Rallye Cup winner Julius Tannert.
The Opel Adam R2 won four out of the six ERC Junior rounds in 2015, with Ingram winning on Rally Azores for Peugeot. The Brit suffered from mechanical gremlins in his title pursuit, with an engine failure in Ypres before fuel pump trouble in Estonia.
The Manchester driver is hoping that this is his opportunity to take a first international title.
“This is the full package and I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to be in the best car, I’ve got that now and we need to go on and win the championship,” he said. “It won’t be easy but if we can get a good start in Latvia, we’ll push after that.”
Katrin Becker will join Ingram in the co-drivers’ seat, after his previous co-driver Gabin Moreau has moved on to sit with WRC driver Stephane Lefebvre.
Ingram will only have one test in the car before Latvia.
He joins a long line of British Opel works drivers including Jimmy Mcrae, David Llewellin and Malcolm Wilson.