Chris Ingram has told ERC The Stage, the all-new internet-based talk show from the FIA European Rally Championship, that he plans to defend his title in 2020.
Co-driven by compatriot Ross Whittock, Ingram became the first Briton since Vic Elford in 1967 to take the coveted crown when he triumphed against Alexey Lukyanuk in a dramatic final-stage decider on last season’s Rally Hungary.
Ingram and Whittock were the star guests on the premiere ofERC The Stageyesterday evening. Co-presenter Julian Porter used the opportunity to ask Ingram about his plans for the upcoming season, which has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“One hundred per cent we want to be back, we want to defend the title,” Ingram, 25, said onERC The Stage. “We need to see what happens over the next few months. Obviously, the [coronavirus] situation is the priority for everyone now. But we definitely want to be back in the ERC and go and win some rallies because we feel there is a lot of unfinished business.”
Ingram continued: “A lot of people said because I didn’t win a rally, ‘am I quick enough, am I as quick as Lukyanuk?’ I totally disagree. I did what I had to do and did the best. I couldn’t risk anything. But I really want to go back and show them that I have got the pace as well.”
But while Ingram – who also has plans to tackle selected world championship events as part of his ultimate goal of challenging at the top tier of the sport – would relish an ERC title defence, he stressed that he still needs to secure the necessary funding to continue his ERC adventure with Toksport WRT.
“We’re still looking for sponsorship and obviously the virus is affecting things a lot,” said Ingram. “Just as [the pandemic began] we were negotiating all the deals with my current sponsors. Like I said, it’s not the priority at the moment. But hopefully what we’ve achieved last year, with all the amazing coverage we’ve had and all the coverage thanks to the ERC as well, I am sure we will find a way so fingers crossed.”
Streamed live at 18h30 CET every Wednesday and co-presented by Julian Porter and Chris Rawes,ERC The Stagewill hear from drivers, co-drivers and other members of the FIA European Rally Championship family ahead of the 2020 season getting underway when it is safe to do so.