Chris Ingram got his hands on his FIA ERC3 title-winning trophy at the Race Retro show in the UK last weekend – and revealed afterwards that it had been a case of mission accomplished.
Ingram was unable to attend the prize giving ceremony in Cyprus last season but used the announcement of his extended partnership agreement with Andrews Heat for Hire at the Race Retro show near Coventry to collect his prestigious European Rally Championship award. The title also being the first ERC class title won by a British driver in 49 years.
British rallying legend Russell Brookes, who enjoyed lengthy Andrews Heat for Hire backing during his career, was invited to make the presentation. And Brookes was an interested observer when Ingram took to the wheel of one of the Opel Mantas he used to rally.
“Last year at the show when I first met Russell he told me to bring back a European title to Britain so it was a great honour for me for my first FIA trophy presented by him,” said Ingram, who will contest this season’s ERC Junior U27 Championship in a factory-run Opel ADAM R2. “We even started the stage behind Ari Vatanen in his Ford Escort Mk2.”
Ingram spent the weekend giving Andrews’ guests passenger rides in the Manta, relishing the opportunity to drive a rallying classic.
“It was fantastic fun and a privilege to experience what it must have been like for Russell in the 1980s,” said Ingram, who was born in 1994, the same year that Brookes retired from competition.
A record 25,000 spectators attended the Race Retro event. Meanwhile, Ingram will begin his ERC Junior U27 title bid on the Azores Airlines Rallye from 30 March-1 April.