Talented 20-year-old driver Chris Ingram is competing next in the first round of the FIA European Junior Rally Championship (ERC) which starts in Latvia, driving the PEUGEOT 208 R2 rally car. Chris is one of the youngest drivers in the event and drives in the RC4 category (for naturally aspirated front-wheel-drive cars).
Confirmed for the year, Chris is fully supported by PEUGEOT UK, PEUGEOT Financial Services and TOTAL Lubricants for the championships in his distinctive PEUGEOT 208 – wearing an interpretation of the Union Flag coloured livery that is itself an evolution of a visual strategy that proved successful before – PEUGEOT UK won the IRC (International Rally Challenge) in 2009 with Kris Meeke.
source: Peugeot UK
With his commitment to the year, Chris commented: “It will be a huge challenge rallying in Latvia, as we will be up against many Scandinavian and Baltic snow-driving experts. However, after the strong result following on from our class win on the Wales Rally GB last year, we are confident that we’ll certainly give our class competitors a run for their money. Our aim will be to maximise our scoring potential before the races that we feel will be the stronger rounds for us – in Ireland, the Azores and in Belgium for example.”
Chris and co-driver Gabin Moreau have spent the winter period training and preparing for the rally, attending the recent Rallye Monte Carlo and practicing their talents with ice-driving in the Alps.
In Latvia, there are over 125 miles of competitive driving, spread over 12 timed stages all culminating with a spectator stage in and around the host town of Liepaja.
The most interesting aspect of the Latvian rally is that rally cars will be equipped with studded tyres which provide a considerable amount of grip on the icy and snowy -20 degree conditions.
Chris continued: “We believe we have a very strong chance of success in the European Junior Rally Championship title this year, after gaining valuable experience last year and having the perfect car and team for this year’s battle. We are going in to this with the objective of winning it, sure in the knowledge we have a really good chance, and I am delighted to have the full backing of PEUGEOT UK.”
PEUGEOT 208 R2 RALLY CAR
The PEUGEOT 208 rally car is constructed to ERC competition specification R2 and designed to be an affordable competitive start in professional rallying. Produced by PEUGEOT Sport, it features a styled design derived from the popular road-going 208 with evolutionary styling – with short overhangs and a flowing transition between the bonnet and windscreen pillars, emphasizing the latest 208 design.
Compared to the 207 it replaced, the 208’s body-shell is around 40kg lighter while a longer wheelbase improves stability with a lower centre of gravity to boost the vehicle’s road-holding capabilities – an important feature in a competition-class rally car.
Safety hasn’t been sacrificed, despite the reduced weight: the 208 R2 boasts a strengthened shell with a multi-point welded roll cage – a new manufacturing process for roll cage design and a major safety feature. The 208 R2’s engine is a competition version of the 1.6-litre VTi road car engine, naturally-aspirated and producing some 185hp. This modern power-unit comes equipped with variable valve timing (VVT).
The gravel and asphalt versions of the 208 R2 are made available in kit form, including a fully-built engine. Those who prefer something a little less hands-on will also be able to buy the 208 R2 pre-built by PEUGEOT Sport. Kits will be available to convert the gravel version to asphalt, and vice-versa.