James Williams endures British Battle on Rallynuts Stages in Wales

James Williams endures British Battle on Rallynuts Stages in Wales

Welsh rally driver James Williams and co-driver Ross Whittock had to roll their sleeves up to take on the elements and some of the best drivers in the world on the recent round of the Probite British Rally Championship – the Rallynuts Severn Valley Stages  (13 April).

 

Last time out in the opening contest of the season, Williams produced a spirited drive to finish in a fine fourth overall against some of the best rally drivers in Britain, Ireland, Europe and the World, and was eager to repeat the result or go better on his home loose surface gravel rally. The Welshman was once again representing the Hyundai marque with the Newcastle Emlyn-based driver harnessing his new four-wheel-drive turbo-charged i20 Rally2 car.

 

The Orange Amps driver started at car eight in very loose, slippery conditions. The morning loop consisted of four stages before a lunchtime service halt before three tests followed creating 62 miles of competitive action. Punching in the tenth quickest time on the opener, Williams wasn’t too concerned as he had elected for a tyre compound which would come to him on the second, third and fourth stages of the day. And that it did – climbing his way up to sixth overall before the service halt.

 

The mid Wales event was to also be the young Welshman’s first time on gravel with this car, so was having to learning on the job, and having to learn quickly while flying at speeds over 90mph on the loose. In the afternoon the pair got the bit between their teeth and continued their charge up the order to an eventual fourth – a credible result after a gruelling event. This result sees the Hyundai crew sit fourth in the standings with some of their favourite events still to come.

 

“Fourth overall, fourth BRC and fourth in the standings… I think if you told me this was up for grabs before the start, I would have pushed it away. But... you forget how long it takes to get up to speed in these cars,” explained Williams.

 

“There was lots of seat time gained this weekend, the car worked really well when it was bone dry, but we really needed to work at it, to get it right for the greasy, damp conditions. But, there were more lessons learnt and the times started to come towards the end and to take fourth again – that is an important finish. We battled hard today, that was a tough one, but we will take that!

 

“I want to say a big thank you to everyone who supported me and to everyone who got me to the start line. Thank you as well to the Orange Army for your support stage side too - it means everything! Thank you to the team as well and thank you to Ross too - everyone was perfect allowing me to learn and progress. Lastly a big thanks to the officials, marshals and volunteers for standing out in the weather today. Car #8 really appreciated every single one of you!”
 
The next round of the championship sees James, Ross and the Orange Amps team switch back to the smooth Tarmac for the Jim Clark Rally in southern Scotland. James has been on the podium there previously and will be hoping to repeat the feat in 2024. In the meantime, rally fans will be able to catch James and Ross in action in the official highlights from the second round of the Probite British Rally Championship, which will be broadcast on ITV4 at 20:00 on Wednesday 24th April. 


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