CHAMPIONS REUNITE AS INGRAM RETURNS TO TOKSPORT WRT
The youngest ever FIA European Rally Champions’ Chris Ingram and Ross Whittock will be reunited with their title winning team and reigning WRC2 Champions Toksport WRT for an initial 18 month contract.
The Brits will complete their debut WRC3 season at the iconic rounds in Greece and Spain with Toksport ahead of a full WRC2 Campaign in 2022 in the Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo. Chris Ingram said: “I cannot wait to be back with the entire Toksport team, it feels like home.
We are ambitious and hungry to deliver more titles and top results, which we know we can do in a Toksport car and with their support. Like every WRC round we have experienced this year, I expect Greece and Spain to be immensely challenging, the level of the competition is so high which will help us in our step up to WRC2 for 2022.”
The hot and dusty stages of the WRC Acropolis Rally of Greece (9-12 September), the next round of the FIA World Rally Championship starting in Athens are renowned to be the most challenging in the calendar for car and crew. They will complete their comeback season campaign at WRC Rally Catalunya – Rallye de España (14-17 October) on the high-grip asphalt roads near to Barcelona.
Adam Shore, Director of Rally Warrior said, “The new contract with Toksport provides Rally Warrior with the platform to fulfil its plan of rally and series wins for Chris and Ross. I have no doubt that the partnership will be successful and exciting. I can’t wait!”
Serkan Duru, Team Manager of Toksport WRT said: “We are so happy to have Chris and Ross back in the team after a short break and to continue the journey.” Ingram’s loyal partners CarFinance 247, Protec Temporary Protection, WS Transportation, FreeM Racewear, Easywrite, Heroes & Heretics and Stilo Helmets will continue to be represented on the World stage by the Rally Warriors.
Louis Rix, co-CEO of CarFinance 247, said: “It’s great to see Chris team up with Toksport and secure his future in the WRC2. We’ve been supporting Chris for several years now and have never doubted that he is destined for big things. This new contract demonstrates that talent, hard work and passion pay off and we can’t wait to see Chris and Ross back on the world stage as they complete their WRC3 season and look ahead to further success in 2022.”
James Harrison, CEO of Protec said: “This is a great opportunity for Chris & Ross to show their class.” With the new multi-season partnership, the Rally Warrior team will move into WRC2 for the 2022 season, starting in Monte Carlo.
FIRST EVER WRC3 PODIUM
Rally Warrior duo Chris Ingram and Ross Whittock scored their first ever WRC3 podium place at Rally Portugal this weekend. The British pair came third in what is being described as one of WRC3’s strongest ever line-ups comprising 24 entrants.
The FIA World Championship race is only their second WRC3 event, following an 18-month break and clearly demonstrates their huge potential. Chris Ingram said: “We’ve made a great step forward again. Now we’ve shown that we’ve got the speed to win stages. My aim is to do that consistently over a whole rally and try to win. But we’ve learnt that the tyre strategy is critical on these long demanding World rallies.” Chris Ingram set pace from the start, finishing their first loop in P3. The rest of the day brought its challenges and by the Góis stage, they dropped around 40 seconds after getting caught in the dust caused by a slower car. The young Brits then trailed the leaders by 53.5 seconds. Notional times were given which put Ingram back on the podium by the end of the day, only 4 seconds off the lead.
On day two, the pair had the wrong tyre strategy, which cost them a lot of time. They still kept close to the leaders, just 51.8 seconds behind Kajetan Kajetanowicz. By day three, the team made a better choice of tyres and set two fastest time. On two stages, Chris and Ross were also in the top ten overall amongst the top WRC1 drivers. Kajetan Kajetanowicz eventually won the race ahead of WRC3 driver Yohan Rossel. Chris and Ross finished in 3 rd place overall. Co-driver Ross Whittock said: “It was a tough weekend with many positives to take away. We showed great pace on Sunday which will push us forward going to Sardinia.”
Adam Shore, Director of Rally Warrior, said: “There were a lot of experienced crews out there and Portugal is a technical event requiring a lot of experience. It was never going to be easy and we made a few calls which cost us time, but for them to get two fastest times and a very positive overall result is fantastic. We all aspire to improve from third, we’re learning all the time and can’t wait to get back out there.” James Harrison, CEO of Protec and sponsor of Rally Warrior, said: “This is a new campaign for us all. For Chris and Ross to win a podium place in only their second ever WRC3 event, speaks volumes. We’re delighted to be supporting him on what’s already a very exciting year.”
The team now has just ten days to reset, before heading to another all-gravel event for the next round of the FIA World Rally Championship, Rally Italia Sardegna starting on 3rd June.
PODIUM FINISH ON RALI TERRAS D’ABOBOREIRA
Chris Ingram and his co-driver Ross Whittock won a podium finish on Rali Terras d’Aboboreira last weekend on only his second drive since winning the FIA European Rally Championship title two years ago.
Commenting on their performance, Ingram said: “Two weeks ago I made my rally comeback in Croatia. A huge moment for the whole team, I wanted to pick up from where Ross and I left off when we won the ERC. I struggled like never before after such a long layoff and the relentlessness of rally life, aiming for perfection corner after corner, stage after stage was a huge shock to the system physically and mentally.
“Not much can prepare your brain for the World Rally Championship apart from driving at that level consistently and I’ve not been doing any proper driving for a very, very long time. “One week later, we’ve bounced back to take our first podium with the team on my first drive on gravel in almost two years against top level competition. “
Shaking off the rust, as well as beating the nerves and anxiety of that first drive back was a bigger win than I could’ve hoped for. Bring on our next massive challenge on Rallye de Portugal in two weeks.”
Adam Shore, Director of Rally Warrior added: “ We’re really pleased to have our first podium for Rally Warrior. We’re a new team and it certainly shows that the more time Chris has behind the wheel, the better. We’ll certainly look to build on this momentum for Rally Portugal.”
INGRAM MAKES PROMISING START IN WRC3 DEBUT
Chris Ingram’s much anticipated debut in the World Rally Championships (WRC) got off to a promising start at the Croatia Rally 2021, finishing in 5 th position in a hugely competitive WRC3 field. Partnered with co-driver Ross Whittock, the race was their first since winning the 2019 European Championships, driving their new SXM Competition prepared Skoda Fabia as part of their team Rally Warrior.
Chris Ingram said: “Being back after one and half years out of rallying, has been a difficult jump at this incredibly high level, but I’m happy to take the tough lessons and to have finished the rally.
‘Rally Croatia was by far the toughest rally and circumstances I’ve ever experienced. A few years ago we were fighting at the top of every rally so it’s been very hard to accept it’s going to take some more time and practice to get back to that level and beyond.”
The opening stage South-West of Zagreb proved tricky conditions with gravel dragged on to the asphalt. Chris and Ross had a very strong first loop and finished 5 th after the first day. The morning of day 2, saw them climb to P3 but by stage 18 on the final day, they suffered a small off with a bent steering wheel, which eventually led them to finish in 5 th position overall.
Whilst Polish driver Kajetan Kajetanowicz took victory, Ingram showed he is still very much a contender for a podium place. Adam Shore, Director of Rally Warrior said: “This a solid foundation to build on and Chris and Ross have proved they are still capable of challenging the top. Rally Warrior is a new team and this is certainly just the beginning of what we can do. We will closely evaluate what went right and wrong in Croatia, and plan for improvement from Portugal onwards.”
The team will now enter the first round of the Portuguese championship Rali Terras d’Aboboreira as part of their preparation for Rally Portugal.
INGRAM INTRODUCES HIS WRC PARTNERS
Chris Ingram’s FIA World Rally Championship adventure starts today, thanks to a key partnership with CarFinance 247 and a series of new sponsorships. Following Chris and co-driver Ross Whittock’s success in the European Rally Championship where they became the youngest ever champions, the pair will begin their first World Rally Championship challenge on the Croatia Rally from April 22-25. Having previously struggled financially and even running a successful Crowdfunding campaign, his WRC mission is set to be very different. His growing success has attracted significant attention from sponsors and enabled him to create the Rally Warrior team. With SG Financial and Fladgate acting as advisors, a number of new sponsors have been signed, backing his world title ambition.
Adam Shore, Director of Rally Warrior said, “Chris has battled for several years to finance his career. We felt the desire to step in and make sure Chris and Ross are given the chance at WRC which they deserve. They exemplify resilience and outstanding performance, and fans really want to see these rising stars compete.” CarFinance247, the online car finance marketplace, which is based in Manchester, Ingram’s home city, is announced as Ingram and Rally Warrior’s key partner. “We’ve been part of Chris’s journey for the past four years and have been continually inspired by his dedication, skill, and willingness to triumph over adversity,” said Louis Rix, co-CEO of CarFinance 247. “On and off the track, Chris embodies our company’s values – his resilience, passion, and commitment to teamwork are all qualities that we aspire to promote and demonstrate every day. “When we launched CarFinance 247, we set out to shake-up the car finance industry. Teaming up with a driver like Chris, who is single-handedly revolutionising the UK rally scene, could not be a more natural partnership for a business like ours. “Now that he’s taking his rightful place on the world stage, we’re proud to be able to support him once again and play a part in his inevitable rise to the top.”
Alongside the new partnership with CarFinance 247, Ingram announced a series of new sponsors: Protec, Kroon-Oil, Fleetback, WS Transportation, HAH Whisky, Stilo Helmets and race-wear partner FreeM. The logos of all sponsors will appear on the car designed by Kyriakos Taliotis. James Harrison, CEO of Protec said, “As a successful high tech British Manufacturer, we like to be associated with winners. Against all the odds, Chris has shown that he can achieve great things by winning the European Championship. By supporting him in 2021, we want to raise our profile globally and the WRC provides us with an exciting, dynamic platform on which to communicate our goals.” “
Kroon-Oil has been a strong partner in several rally competitions for years now, said Leon ten Hove, Marketing Manager, Kroon-Oil. “From this perspective we have bee following Chris and Ross for a while. Thanks to our partnership with SXM & J- Motorsport, we have reached an agreement on our support for Chris and Ross’ talent and ambitions for the upcoming WRC season. We are very pleased to be able to announce this partnership with Chris and Ross in the WRC. This cooperation reflects our strong market position as a high-level lubricant brand. We need strong partners and international visibility to support the international growth we have realised and the WRC with Chris and Ross fits perfectly.”
Chris has joined forces with the vastly successful SXM Competition team from Belgium to pilot a Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo. “As a team we wanted to do another program in WRC-3, because this is the highest level of motorsport. I was very honored that Chris contacted me to see if we could have a collaboration, said Fred Miclotte from SXM Competition. “I have known Chris and Ross already for some time and I’m sure they form a fantastic team together. I think that we all have the same goal for 2021. We all want to show our potential and that’s why I believe so much in it. ”
Chris Ingram added: “Winning the European Rally Championship was just the beginning for me. With the creation of Rally Warrior and the support of my sponsors, I’ve got the best opportunity to focus on what I do best: driving fast. I’ve got every chance now and I’m just incredibly excited to get back out there competing with the world’s best. I was born to rally, WRC is the pinnacle of motorsport and I am so grateful to everyone involved in making this chance a reality.”
INGRAM EARNS WRC CHANCE