Chris Ingram leads the FIA European Rally Championship overall after finishing third on last weekend’s Barum Czech Rally Zlín.

However, the talented Toksport WRT ŠKODA Fabia R5 driver is fighting to find sufficient funds to contest the remaining events in Cyprus and Hungary after missing out to the ERC1 Junior title, and the 100,000 euros prize, by just 0.3 seconds, as Czech driver Filip Mareš finished second (behind event winner Jan Kopecký) to clinch the lucrative award.

So after another fantastic performance with Ross Whittock on the pace notes, it was with mixed emotions, and an uncertain future, that Ingram attended the post-rally press conference. This is what he had to say:

It wasn’t the title you’ve worked so hard for but you must be proud?
“Yes, very proud. It's been an incredible fight, the best fight ever. It'll just make me a stronger driver. I've proven to myself that I've got the pace. I've been putting too much pressure on myself this season and pushing too hard and we've been slower than last year. Until here so I just tried to relax and I was driving like myself again. At times we ran really good pace. So it's promising.”

It was a very determined drive all weekend…
“
It's been a rubbish year really until now. I've been putting way too much pressure on myself, been in a bad place mentally and not driving like me, but I've proven to myself here that by relaxing as much as possible we have got the pace, definitely. It's a shame to miss out on the Juniors’ and the money because it's been all about budget this year and that's why the pressure's been on so, so much. But we've got the speed, so we need to find a way to carry on and fight for the overall title. That's one of my life ambitions. I need to stay positive and stay focused on that, it's the only way.”

You’re now leading the overall championship by one point but in need of budget to compete in Cyprus and Hungary. What can you do?
“As soon as we finish the podium, start thinking! The Junior title would have been nice, but it was about the money. It's about the overall title, but I needed the money, I need to find the money. I've got to stay positive. I'm leading the European Rally Championship, I need to find a way to carry on because I don't have any money. I owe my team a lot of money, but I've got to find a way to carry on and win that, because if I win that, this won't even matter.”

Chris Ingram and Ross Whittock wear STILO WRC DES CARBON PIUMA helmets.

Chris Ingram, FIA European Rally Championship, Czech, Skoda Fabia R5, ERC