Second round of FIA European Rally Championship , Rally Canarias enden prematurely for Chris Ingram due to health reasons on stage 3. Chris was feeling unwell whole week but attempted to start the rally. The team and Chris decided that it is too dangerous to continue under the bad health conditions and he retired. He hopes to recover until the third round of the series, Acropolis Rally.
Orhan Avicoglu has gained a lot of experience in Skoda Fabia R5 on tarmac stages of Canarias and he managed to finish 15th overall in the rally. He said ” Everything was good, big thanks for my team, they were great. We learned a lot. We didn’t take any big risk, we wanted mainly to make ot through” after the last stage.
Despite having mechanical problems during the Rally, the Lebanese driver Gilbert Bannout managed to finish third in ERC2 in a Subaru Impreza.
Chris Ingram crowned his FIA European Rally Championship four-wheel-drive debut with an ERC Junior U28 class victory. During the 3 days close competition, Ingram had 6 best times out of 15 stages in U28. The battle continued until the last stage Tronqueira 2 and Ingram won U28 by 1 minute 08 seconds gap.
Menderes Okur completed the race 4th in ERC2 and scored valuable points for the championship. Orhan Avcioglu had an unfortunate crash in the 11th stage and retired.
Toksport WRT will be following FIA ERC in 2018. Last year’s FIA ERC U27 Champion Chris Ingram and 2017 Balkan Rally Champion Orhan Avcioglu will be driving Skoda Fabia R5. Menderes Okur will be competing in FIA ERC2 in a Subaru Impreza.
Chris Ingram said ” I have been aiming to compete in the top tier of the European Rally Championship for a long time. Thanks to the €100,000 prize fund for winning the ERC Junior U27 title last year it has made that dream a possibility. There were many many discussions and options on the table so It has been an incredibly difficult task to choose the right one. Having met with Toksport in Germany in February I am very confident with my decision, they are a passionate and top team and their offer was too good to refuse. They want to win as much as me so it makes perfect sense! I can’t wait to drive the Fabia R5 for the first time and to start a new title fight in the Azores next week with the new team and car. The Azores is one of my favourite rallies in the world, however I’ll face a big challenge “
Orhan Avcioglu said ” We are embarking on a new campaign for 2018; together with Toksport WRT, we will be racing in the European Rally Championship with Skoda Fabia R5. The ERC is extremely competitive so we need to build on our pace from 2017 season. We are familiar with the car however all the rallies will be new to us. Therefore we need to find the balance between outright speed and consistancy. I would like to thank Toksport WRT for presenting this unique opportunity. “
The first race of the championship will be Rallye Azores on 22nd of March.