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Chris Ingram’s wait for Yaris is finally over

Chris Ingram will make his Toyota rally debut on the Nicky Grist Stages (Saturday 13 July) when he contests the event in a GR Yaris Rally2 – joining his Castrol MEM Rally Team stablemate Meirion Evans, who will also contest the mid-Wales event as a gravel test ahead of the next round of British Rally Championship.

Chris Ingram and co-driver Alex Kihurani started the BRC in a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 and were always scheduled to switch to a Toyota GR Yaris Rally2 as soon as a second car arrived in the UK. Having led the series after the first two rounds, the Suisscourtage-backed driver goes into the second half of the BRC lying a close second in the points standings. The Nicky Grist Stages will therefore be an important first outing in the Yaris, as Chris prepares for the Voyonic Grampian Forest Rally (9 August).

Meirion now has four rallies under his belt in the Toyota GR Yaris Rally2 – three BRC events and the Carlow Stages Rally which he contested as an asphalt shakedown. Co-driven by Jonathan Jackson, he will return to Ireland to contest the Wilton Recycling Donegal International Rally (21-23 June) before turning his attention to preparing for the next round of the BRC and tackling the Nicky Grist Stages as a gravel test. The last time Meirion contested his local Builth Wells-based gravel BTRDA/Welsh Championship event was in 2017, when he finished fifth in the BRC Junior section in a Peugeot 205 R2.

Chris Ingram said: “I am thrilled to finally have the chance to take the wheel of the new Toyota GR Yaris Rally2 on the Nicky Grist Stages. The Toyota has been showing strong performances at the hands of my team-mate Meirion Evans and in WRC2 taking victory in Portugal and Sardinia. I can’t wait to see what we can achieve with the car and to be able to work more closely with Meirion and Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC engineer Lewis Allen. The Nicky Grist Stages is a rally I have always wanted to do. I have never driven those stages before, but I know how iconic they are having spectated on many of them in the past watching Wales Rally GB as a child. I’ve also really benefitted from Nicky’s support and expertise, so to be able to do his event is truly fantastic.”

Nicky Grist said: “It is fantastic to have the Castrol MEM Rally Team in its entirety competing on the Nicky Grist Stages this year. While Meirion is looking to expand his experience on gravel, I know that Chris wants to get to grips with his new Yaris Rally2 car on gravel before the next BRC round in August. With the second Yaris arriving at Melvyn Evans Motorsport later this month, our rally is perfectly positioned to allow the guys the opportunity to test in competition. I am sure this will be a great spectacle and I am looking forward to seeing them in Builth Wells on July 13th.”