Ingram crowned vice-champion as DNF ends championship hopes

Opel works rally driver Chris Ingram and co-driver Elliott Edmondson were left with heartbreak last weekend after an alternator failure dropped them out of the lead of the 2016 Rally Liepaja and out of contention for the European Junior Rally title.

The opening stages of the rally saw the pair take the lead, closely followed by local competitors and their German team-mates.

Action got under way on the second day and Ingram continued to lead until Stage 8 when the Englishman felt a delay in throttle response, allowing team-mate Marijan Griebel the chance to draw level.

It was clear there was an alternator issue when Ingram limped the Adam R2 back to the service area, unfortunately the alternator wasn’t changed in the allocated service time and the car ground to a halt on the following stage, handing Griebel a clear run to take victory and the championship title.

“In general it has been an absolutely awesome season for us.” said Ingram. “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.” 

Credit: Gregory Lenormand / DPPI
Credit: Gregory Lenormand / DPPI

Despite the DNF, Ingram’s consistency over the season including 5 podiums in a row means that he secures the runner-up spot in the European Junior Rally Champion and is still in the running for the ERC3 title that he leads by 2 points.

“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.

“I would like to thank my supporters and partners Opel Motorsport, Andrews Sykes, Express Solicitors, The Property Man, DSG Auto Contracts and Clarity Wealth for their amazing support.” added Ingram.

Co-driver Edmondson added “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!”