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Peugeot Barum14– New PEUGEOT UK ‘Young Lion’ has successful ERC début in 208 R2
– Survives tough European Rally Championship round in Czech Republic
– Top stars go out, but Ingram gets through

PEUGEOT new driver hits the stages …

To step into any brand new car for the first time is always slightly daunting: when it’s a full-blown PEUGEOT rally car and you’re driving on rally stages you’ve never seen before, it’s triply so.

But last weekend PEUGEOT UK’s 20-year old rising star Chris Ingram rose manfully to the challenge at Barum Czech Rally Zlín in the Czech Republic, the eighth round of the 2014 FIA European Rally Championship. His objective on the first event of his three-round campaign backed by PEUGEOT UK and PEUGEOT Financial Services was simply to finish, which he duly did, setting some very quick times. Top ERC competitors like Esapekka Lappi, Craig Breen and Kevin Abbring all went out during the 237.33km asphalt rally, but Ingram, from Manchester, came through each successive challenge.

The first challenge was to find his 208 R2 jammed in first gear in the Parc Fermé area in Zlín on Saturday morning: blocked in by other cars, Ingram and French co-driver Gabin Moreau had to shift the vehicles to get out. Then, on a long series of stages, there were problems that left Chris without any power steering. The ERC Junior star wrestled his 208 R2 back to Service at Otrokovice where the issue was identified and sorted by his service team; Chris and Gabin then battled through the final loop to close the day.

Sunday’s final six tests – two loops of the same three stages – were again difficult, with the set-up of the car needing to be changed for the varying conditions – one stage very bumpy, another very muddy, the third smooth. Chris used the first pass to establish what was needed, and then applied different settings for each stage on the second run. And so he came home, extending the famous PEUGEOT UK ‘Young Lion’ tradition, which over more than 25 years has helped launch the careers, amongst others, of World Rally Champions Colin McRae, Richard Burns and IRC Champion and current WRC star Kris Meeke.

“Fantastic experience…the 208 R2 is such an enjoyable car to drive and I’m slowly building my confidence…finishing was the main thing…important to show everyone that I’m worthy of the support that Peugeot has given me… very happy to be at the finish…we had a few issues, but generally the pace has been good and the car has been fantastic. I am really grateful for all the help I have had, especially from other Peugeot drivers and co-drivers in the Service Park, and from the ERC’s Jean-Pierre Nicolas, a legend among drivers and one-time Peugeot World Rally chief, who’s been the driving force in putting this programme together.”

Chris Ingram’s next scheduled outing in the PEUGEOT UK 208 R2 is at the Rallye International du Valais in Switzerland 23-25 October.

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