chris ingram to honour peugeot success with gti coupe franche anniversary livery in ireland

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

  • Ingram to debut new ‘Coupe Franche’ livery on his PEUGEOT 208 ‘R2’ on Circuit of Ireland Rally
  • Belfast-based rally is Ingram’s‘home’ round of the 2015 FIA European Rally Championship 
  • Ingram became youngest winner of the prestigious Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy last year

PEUGEOT UK’s junior rally star Chris Ingram will debut a striking black and red ‘Coupe Franche’(a diagonal sharp line dividing two distinct colours) livery design recently used to promote the 30th anniversary of the Peugeot GTi on his 208 ‘R2’rally car, when he contests his home round of the FIA European Rally Championship, at the Circuit of Ireland Rally (2-4 April).

In celebration of 30 years since the launch of the original PEUGEOT 205 GTi last year, some of the exclusive and Limited Edition 208 GTi 30th models were available in the distinctive Coupe Franche design, which is now available on the top-of-the-range 208 ‘GTi by Peugeot Sport’. The radical and bold-looking two-toned colour scheme has a textured black front-end with a high-gloss red rear, and it is this that will be depicted on the PEUGEOT UK rally car for the very first time.

The 208 ‘R2’will look stunning on the Irish stages, as the talented 20-year-old Manchester-based driver aims for another strong points-scoring finish in the ERC Junior category. Ingram’s season started well with a sixth place finish on the unfamiliar snow and ice covered gravel roads of Latvia. The Circuit of Ireland is an event Chris knows much better, having done the event twice before –the first time in 2012, when Ingram was just 17-years old.

Last year, in front of 74,000 spectators, Chris became the youngest winner of the prestigious Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy after leading the Junior category at two-thirds distance. Despite crashing out, former PEUGEOT UK Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) champion and now WRC driver Kris Meeke presented the 19-year old with the award, saying that Ingram’s performance had been “absolutely outstanding”.

Supported by PEUGEOT UK, PEUGEOT Financial Services and TOTAL Lubricants, Ingram and co-driver Gabin Moreau will be aiming for ERC Junior victory in Ireland –although that will be far from easy, with a record 19 ERC Junior competitors taking part from 12 different countries.

Speaking ahead of the Circuit of Ireland Rally, Chris commented: “My ERC Junior championship will really begin once we get to Ireland. I made some mistakes in Latvia but we still scored some good back-up points. After leading R2 on the Circuit both times I’ve competed, before misfortune, so I hope it’s a case of third time lucky and we can see the finish line this time with a podium. The Irish stages are incredible and I love the style of fast, flowing and bumpy roads, which the Circuit of Ireland offers.

"I’m so excited to pilot the 208 ‘R2’on these roller-coaster Irish roads. The chassis is brilliant and will suit the jumps and bumps. I remember last year that I spent more time in the air than on the Tarmac in the little Twingo, but the Peugeot is much more stable and lands big jumps better and safer.”

This year’s Circuit of Ireland Rally begins with a Qualifying Stage on Thursday 2 April, which will determine the running order for leg one, followed by a ceremonial start outside Belfast City Hall later the same evening. Friday (3 April) and Saturday (4 April) are two busy action-packed days, with a total of 135 miles of competition held over 18 special stages in counties Antrim and Down. Most of these speed tests – like the famous Hamilton’s Folly stage, located south of Ballynahinch, and the long McGaffins Corner test near Newry – will be held on narrow, twisty and bumpy closed country lanes, although there will be two spectacular town stages in Newtownards on the Friday night and in Lisburn on Saturday. The finish ceremony will take place in front of the Titanic Building at 18.15 on Saturday.

INGRAM GETS TO DRIVE LEGENDARY PEUGEOT 205 T16 RALLY CAR

It’s also 30 years since PEUGEOT first won the FIA World Rally Championship with the 205 T16 – and Chris Ingram recently had the fairytale opportunity to drive a 1985 Group B 205 T16at Race Retro, an international historic motor show held at Stoneleigh Park in the UK.

Driving such a famous rally car was a boyhood dream come true, for Chris, who said after the experience: “It was awesome to drive the Peugeot 205 T16 – and I’m very grateful to Kevin Furber, a former works Peugeot driver for making this possible. It is incredible to think that the car was built ten years before I was even born!

“Ari Vatanen wished me luck before my first run, which was a really special moment. The car was quite easy to drive. There was no power steering, but there was plenty of power. The stage was quite twisty – I’d have loved to have opened the 205 T16 up and experienced what it’s like to drive it at full speed. Of course the Peugeot 205 T16 is very different to my 208 R2, and I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to compare the two. Now I’d like to see what Peugeot’s modern-day T16 is like – the Peugeot 208 T16!”

PEUGEOT 208 R2 RALLY CAR

The PEUGEOT 208 rally car is constructed to ERC competition specification R2 and designed to be an affordable competitive start in professional rallying. Produced by PEUGEOT Sport, it features a styled design derived from the popular road-going 208 with evolutionary styling – with short overhangs and a flowing transition between the bonnet and windscreen pillars, emphasizing the latest 208 design.

Compared to the 207 it replaced, the 208's body-shell is around 40kg lighter while a longer wheelbase improves stability with a lower centre of gravity to boost the vehicle's road-holding capabilities – an important feature in a competition-class rally car.

Safety hasn't been sacrificed, despite the reduced weight: the 208 R2 boasts a strengthened shell with a multi-point welded roll cage – a new manufacturing process for roll cage design and a major safety feature. The 208 R2's engine is a competition version of the 1.6-litre VTi road car engine, naturally-aspirated and producing some 185hp. This modern power-unit comes equipped with variable valve timing (VVT).

The gravel and asphalt versions of the 208 R2 are made available in kit form, including a fully-built engine. Those who prefer something a little less hands-on will also be able to buy the 208 R2 pre-built by PEUGEOT Sport. Kits will be available to convert the gravel version to asphalt, and vice-versa.

Follow @PeugeotRally on Twitter to keep up-to-date with the latest news on Chris Ingram and his rally driving adventure.

Chris Ingram’s key achievements to date

  • Won the R2 class in the Rally GB Wales
  • Colin McRae ERC Flat Out trophy 2014 Circuit of Ireland Rally – youngest driver to win the accolade
  • Entered Junior ERC events in 2014 (finished 2nd in Azores, 3rd in Ypres, Belgium and was leading the UK round in Northern Ireland before crashing out)
  • Goodwood Festival of Speed 2013 and 2014 - invited driver
  • WRC debut on Wales Rally GB. First in R2 class
  • Winner of the 2013 John Easson Award for young rally drivers
  • UK Renault Sport R2 Trophy winner 2012 and 2013
  • ‘MSA Young Driver of the Year 2012’‑ first rally driver ever to win the award
  • Rally Du Var 2012 – official drive in Renault Clio R3
  • 2012 youngest driver to score points in the British Rally Championship (aged 17)
  • 2011 British Junior 1000 Rally Champion – with 7 overall victories

Follow Chris & Team Peugeot UK:  
on Twitter @PeugeotRally / @1ChrisIngram,
on Facebook /peugeotuk or /chrisingramrallying

PEUGEOT

The PEUGEOT Brand can trace its roots back to 1810, but it was in 1889 that it began producing automobiles, and just five years later a PEUGEOT car won the first-ever recorded motor competition – the Paris to Rouen event.

Demonstrated through its brand signature ‘Motion & Emotion’, PEUGEOT is present in 160 countries, has 10,000 franchised dealers, and is recognised for the quality and design excellence of its products.

Worldwide PEUGEOT sells around 1.5m vehicles and is represented in the majority of markets around the world with a strategy to continuously move the Brand up-market.

The UK is the 3rd largest market for PEUGEOT that sells an eight-car, people-carrier and four-van range. The 208 is the best-selling model and available in three and five-door hatchback body styles.

PEUGEOT UK COMMUNICATIONS Contacts

Andrew Didlick, Director Communications, Events & Brand Partnerships
T: +44 (0)2476 884309    |  M: +44 (0) 7836 362859   |  E: andrew.didlick@mpsa.com

Kevin Jones, Head of Communications, Peugeot UK
T: +44 (0)2476 884215    |  M: +44 (0) 7880 786596 | E: kevin.jones@peugeot.com

Louise Dowling, PR Manager, Peugeot UK
T: +44 (0)2476 884216     |  M: +44 (0) 7767 490420   |  E: louise.dowling@peugeot.com

Kerry Livesey, Press Officer, Peugeot UK
T: +44 (0)2476 884212     |  M: +44 (0) 7940 078848 | E: kerry.livesey@peugeot.com

Craig Morrow, Press Fleet Officer
T: +44 (0)2476 884261     |  M: +44 (0) 7747 764745   |  E: craig.morrow@mpsa.com

For high-resolution downloadable images of the Peugeot product range, information and news stories, log onto the dedicated Peugeot Press website at: www.peugeotpress.co.uk (Newspress passwords apply)

Peugeot UK website: www.peugeot.co.uk

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