Chris Ingram still leads the FIA European Rally Championship two-wheel drive category and became Junior European Rally Vice-Champion at last weekend’s Rally Liepaja, but dropped out of the lead and contention due to a rare technical failure on the final stages.
Opel works rally driver Chris Ingram (22, Manchester) and his co-driver Elliott Edmondson (22, Milton Keynes) took the lead early on the flat-out Latvian event, but were chased closely by a number of local drivers and their German team mates after the first days gravel stages. Ingram felt a delay in throttle response early on in Day 2 despite being in a joint lead with team-mate Marijan Griebel after Stage 8. With true determination, Chris and Elliott managed to drive the Adam R2 back to service and after battery levels dropped it was clear there was a small alternator issue.
Disappointingly for the young Brits, the alternator problem wasn’t solved in the allocated service time, unfortunately stopping the car for good early on in the following stage. This handed title-rival and team mate Griebel (27, Germany) a clear run home.
Thanks to consistency and pace achieving 5 podiums in a row, Ingram is still likely to become a European Champion as he still leads the ERC3 (European two-wheel drive) championship by 2 points ahead of Griebel.
Chris Ingram commented “In general it has been an absolutely awesome season for us.
We battled for the win on every event, first year with the Opel team, whilst not putting a scratch on the car the whole championship. We’ve been the most consistent all year and despite what happened this weekend we still lead the European two-wheel drive championship which is incredible.
Elliott did a fantastic job and we again showed our speed and potential against some of the best drivers in Europe and our more experienced team-mates.
Elliott Edmondson commented “We have mixed emotions and I think we deserved a little more this weekend after the small technical failure put us out of contention. We can walk away proud from what we’ve achieved and we’re looking forward to our next rally and the future!”