By Paul Evans
James Williams will make his European Rally Championship debut this weekend when the 21-year old Newcastle Emlyn driver contests the Rally di Roma Capitale.
The trip to Italy comes courtesy of Williams winning his class on the recent Ypres Rally, a round of the British Rally Championship.
Co-driven by Tom Woodburn, Williams – who studies Motorsport Management at Swansea University – will drive the new-for-2019 M-Sport designed Ford Fiesta R2T.
“It’s going to be cool,” said Williams. “I’ve only done the BRC before so it will be a big step up, but it will be interesting. I quite like Tarmac, it’s a strong surface for me. Going to Rome will be new. I have to find my feet, but I’ve had a chance to see what the roads are like, the characteristics. I’ll be sussing it out a little bit but it’s a good opportunity.
“The aim is to prove the car against the Peugeots and the Opel ADAMs, but I don’t go into any rally unless I’m trying to win it. We need to be realistic but it’s the plan to do as well as I can, and I feel quite confident coming from Ypres. It should be good.”
While Rally di Roma Capitale is currently a one-off in ERC3 Junior, Williams is open to more appearances. “I hope there will be further opportunities, but we take it step by step at the minute,” he said.