Peugeot backs rally youngster’s dream

World Rally Championship

Peugeot is backing 20-year old rally star Chris Ingram’s vision to win the World Rally Championship.

Like many rally fans his age, Chris dreams of taking home the WRC title, but unlike most, the youngster has already gone a long way to make that dream a reality.

The first rally driver to take the Motor Sports Association’s Young Driver of the Year award, Chris also became the youngest-ever competitor to win the Colin McRae European Rally Championship Flat Out trophy.

This proved more than enough to catch the eye of Peugeot, who have now put the rallying prodigy behind the wheel of a 208 R2.

Ranked as the number one under-21 rally driver in the world by Autosport magazine, Chris is following in the footsteps of his heroes Colin McRae and Richard Burns by racing for Peugeot.

He said: “I’m really grateful to Peugeot Sport for the chance to drive the 208 R2. This presents a great opportunity for me to show Peugeot what I’m capable of in the pursuit of my goals to become European Rally Champion.

“In my opinion the 208 is the most competitive front-wheel-drive ERC car and I look forward to putting it through its paces. I’m also humbled to be following in the footsteps of my heroes, so I’ll be keeping the finish line firmly in my sights!”

Constructed to competition specs, the Peugeot 208 R2 features a styled design based on the production 208.

It’s around 40kh lighter than its 207 predecessor, with a longer wheelbase for increased stability and a lower centre of gravity to increase road-holding capabilities.

The shell has been strengthened and fitted with a welded roll cage and comes with an upgraded version of the 1.6-litre VTi engine that’s also present in the road-going 208.

208 GTi Anniversary Limited Edition

Earlier this year in June, Peugeot announced the 208 GTi 30th Anniversary Limited Edition model, which is due to go on sale in November.

After having made its official debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed earlier in the summer, the 30th Anniversary model will also appear at the Paris Motor Show in October.

Powered by a brand-new 1.6-litre THP petrol engine, equipped with stop/start technology, the model will produce 205bhp and a burly 300Nm of torque.

Coupled with a six-speed manual gearbox and a Torsen differential, the Limited Edition 208 GTi hit 62mph from standstill in just six and a half seconds. Mid-range acceleration is similarly sharp, while emissions are estimated at around 125g/km.

Prices have yet to be announced for the limited-edition model, but the regular 208 has a starting price of £9,995.