Wednesday | 12 Oct 2022

Ingram switches focus to 2023

Chris Ingram has been sidelined for the remainder of the season owing to the effects of his spectacular roll at last month’s EKO Acropolis Rally Greece.

The Englishman’s car tumbled down a mountainside when he overcooked a left-hand bend in the Pyrgos stage, leaving Ingram nursing a hand injury and his Škoda Fabia Rally2 requiring a complete bare chassis rebuild.

Despite that mishap, Ingram remains second in the WRC2 Junior standings as well sixth in the overall WRC2 championship - but the former European champion confirmed last week that he will not be continuing any further.

“Due to my hand still not being 100 per cent recovered as well as the car repair bill from Greece, my 2022 season ends here and I’ve switched focus to 2023” Ingram told WRC.com.

“I’ve badly torn the ligaments and I probably need another month [before I can get back in a car]. Ligaments can sometimes take longer to repair than bones, apparently, and I’ve just not got enough strength in it right now.

“The insurance excess was also a kick in the teeth, despite it being my first crash in about six years. I don’t budget for these things. My funding comes 100 per cent from sponsorship, and the funding is solely for us to go and compete on rallies,” he continued. “But these are the risks you’ve got to take if you want to be competitive at WRC level.”

Ingram, who claimed two wins in WRC2 Junior this year, is now looking towards the 2023 season where he hopes to bid for overall honours in the WRC2 category. The 28-year-old is keeping his options open for now, but believes some manufacturer support is the key to unlocking more performance.

Although not competing in the top-flight category, rivals including Andreas Mikkelsen (Škoda) and Teemu Suninen (Hyundai) have both been representing their respective manufacturers throughout the season.

“It’s definitely been the most promising year of my career,” he said. “We’ve been up there fighting at the top in pretty much every rally, but I think the time has come where we could really benefit from some support from a manufacturer, and some more time in a car.

“As a privateer at this level, it’s so hard to compete against some of the manufacturer-backed drivers who are getting loads of practice. It is extremely difficult to compete against drivers who have driven 5,000 to 10,000km in testing alone this season. Many people don’t understand this, but as a driver you know the advantage this gives you.

“I’ve got some exciting meetings lined up in preparation for next year and we’ll see what happens. I’ll never give up on getting a chance.”

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