Ingolstadt reach Bundesliga

On Board Camera 3 : MotoGP : Races – Gopro British Grand Prix

The Bavarian club, formed only 11 years ago as part of a merger between the city’s two clubs MTV Ingolstadt and ESV Ingolstadt, clinched promotion with a game to spare on Sunday thanks to a 2-1 win over RB Leipzig.

They become the third new club in the German top-flight in the past four years, and the 54th in Bundesliga history, after Bavarian rivals Furth and Paderborn recently became the 52nd and 53rd members.

Some 15,000 fans packed into the compact Audi Sportpark as Ingolstadt celebrated an historic promotion, seven years after reaching the second division for the first time.

They spent a year back in the third division before returning to the 2 Bundesliga in 2010, and soon they will be getting their first taste of the big time.

“Even now that we’ve sealed promotion by beating Leipzig, I cannot quite grasp what a miracle we have achieved,” club chairman Peter Jackwerth told the club’s official website.

“Even if it may sound crazy, even up to the final seconds when it became clear we were going up, I still didn’t believe it.

“Now we’re up, and it’s sensational. Just look at the names of the people we are joining. This is without a doubt the biggest sporting achievement I’ve ever experienced.”

Jackwerth has been at the helm ever since the club was born in 2004, but he admits he never could have imagined seeing them rise to the top flight.

“It was never planned this way,” he said. “I can remember very well at my very first press conference saying that our aim was to establish us as one of the top 50 clubs in Germany.

“Now we’re in the top 18, and that makes us all very proud.”

Their next task is to ensure they do not go the same way as Furth or Braunschweig, and possibly also Paderborn this season by dropping straight back down.

“Of course we’re ready,” Jackwerth said. “We’ve got a great infrastructure, right in the heart of Bavaria with a modern stadium, even if it’s not the biggest.

“We must have made a name for ourselves, otherwise we would not be where we are now.

“We want to become an established club and continue writing footballing history with Ingolstadt.”