By Paul Evans
James Williams made an impressive FIA World Rally Championship debut at the weekend, finishing 30th overall in his Vauxhall Adam R2 on the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB.
The 20-year old Newcastle Emlyn driver also clinched the runners-up spot in the Prestone British Junior Rally Championship, after taking the battle for the title down to the final round.
With two Junior BRC wins under his belt, Williams needed to win the last round and hope rival Steve Rokland didn’t finish. But a differential problem and a puncture meant that he couldn’t repeat his penultimate round victory, ending the season in second place.
Williams’ navigator, Tom ‘Woody’ Woodburn, did clinch the Junior Co-drivers’ title, as Rokland’s partner, west Wales’ Dai Roberts, had only joined the Norwegian Peugeot 208 R2 driver mid-way through the series.
“We’d set ourselves some goals coming into Wales Rally GB and we pretty much achieved every one of them,” said Williams. “I was pipped at the post for the BRC Junior drivers’ title, but I’m still over the moon with our result and to get to the end of such a tough rally.
“We gave it everything and had a few ups and downs. The downs were unforeseen and we couldn’t do much about them, but we fought on and got to the end of the event and I’m mega happy.
“It was a long event and the stages were gruelling. We spent fourteen hours in the rally car every day and there was a lot of mechanical work done to keep us going – it’s been nuts!”
Williams is supported by Network Q, HT Installations, Speedline Wheels, Morris Lubricants and Pirelli tyres.