Ingram at last in ERC Junior Under 28

Ingram at last in ERC Junior Under 28

08/10/2017 19:00

By winning the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship following a four-way title battle, Chris Ingram earns 100,000 euros to put towards an FIA ERC Junior Under 28 campaign for 2018 when he steps up to a top-of-the-range R5 car for the first time.

The Opel Rallye Junior Team driver narrowly missed out on ERC Junior title glory last season but now gets the perfect opportunity to step up to the next level in accordance with the ERC’s mission to provide a vital platform of progression for young talents.

“My first ERC round was here in Latvia four years ago and I’ve been trying to win this title ever since so to do it is the best thing ever,” said Briton Ingram, who also claimed the ERC3 title. “I’ve been working towards this moment pretty much every day for the last four years. I’ve been so dedicated and everything has paid off now. I now have the best cash prize in rallying that will help me progress and as soon as I get home I’m going to be speaking to people to try and do the whole European championship next year.”

The battle for victory had been turned on its head when overnight leader Jari Huttunen picked up two punctures. With only one spare on board, the Finn was forced to complete the morning loop with only three fully-inflated tyres on his Opel ADAM R2. With Huttunen delayed, Ingram moved into the class lead and drove without error to the finish to claim the title.

Local driver Mārtiņš Sesks came back from a spectacular roll to finish second with ACCR Czech Team’s Filip Mareš third at the end of his first season of international competition. Huttunen beat Aleks Zawada to fourth with Kristóf Klausz sixth, Buǧra Banaz seventh, Tamara Molinaro eighth and Karel Kupec ninth following mechanical issues. Technial problems put Dominik Brož out on the final stage.

Ingram also won the Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy for his efforts.

José Suárez completed his maiden season of FIA European Rally Championship action by finishing second among the ERC Junior U28 contingent on Rally Liepāja to secure third in the final class reckoning.

Krisóf Klausz’s strong end to the 2017 FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship continued when he finished sixth in class on Rally Liepāja.

Aleks Zawada says there were “a lot of positives” after his bid for the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship – and the 100,000 euros prize fund – ultimately ended in disappointment in Latvia earlier this month.

Kalle Rovanperä says Nikolay Gryazin is the ultimate rival after the talented young guns locked horns on the closing round of the 2017 FIA European Rally Championship recently.

Jari Huttunen has spoken of his disappointment after losing out on the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 title to Opel team-mate Chris Ingram in a final-round decider in Latvia earlier this month.

Łukasz Habaj wishes his first podium in the FIA European Rally Championship had come in happier circumstances.