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  • Writer's pictureSteve Jones

Williams all in for British Rally Championship fight

[Photo courtesy of JWR Rally Team]

26-year-old James Williams is ready to throw his hat into the Probite British Rally Championship ring this year, with the Welshman eyeing a 2024 title assault, under the spotlight of the ITV television cameras.

Following the culmination of two successful development campaigns in the last two seasons, Williams is ready to fight at the very front in the top-flight of Britain’s premier rallying series. Previously the Newcastle Emlyn-based driver has won rounds in the Junior formula and last year recorded a breakthrough British championship win on his home round – Rali Ceredigion in mid Wales.

Ahead of the new season, James Williams pulled the covers off his 2024 charger, supported once again by Orange Amps. The newly acquired four-wheel-drive, turbo-charged Hyundai i20 Rally2 will sport the striking orange, black and silver colours of Orange Amps once again – a fast emerging iconic livery, eagerly anticipated in the British forests and Tarmac lanes by thousands of rallying fans.

This year, James will be joined in the car by 2019 European Rally Champion co-driver Ross Whittock. The pair have a strong history together with the duo sitting alongside each other in the Junior British Rally Championship in 2018 – sealing an impressive win in Ypres, Belgium as one of the highlights.

The season gets underway on the asphalt of Lancashire - with the hugely popular North West Stages the start of a new championship year, with 57.5 flat-out miles lanes around Garstang this weekend (Saturday 23 March). New for 2024 in the British Rally Championship will be hour-long highlights show from every round, appearing a week after the event on ITV4 and ITVX – showcasing the dramatic, pulsating rallying action to a wider audience around the UK.

“I love it when a plan comes together,” said an enthusiastic Williams. “Last year was a complete learning year as we were trying out different cars for different events. Last year on Rali Ceredigion was a breakthrough for us, not only taking the BRC win and outright podium – but it all clicked and we felt comfortable in the car and we just knew the Hyundai i20 Rally2 was the one for us. We completed a 5000km journey to pick up our new car last week and I couldn’t be happier to pull this all together and have the backing of such a cool, impactful brand such as Orange Amps. They enjoyed the experience in 2023, and we hope our exciting campaign will bring lots of action and fireworks this year. I am also delighted to be representing Hyundai Motorsport in the UK once again and the support we have had from the manufacturer has been fantastic and it is great to continue that strong relationship into 2024.

“I have been working hard since the end of the last year, and I wanted to be sure we had the right package to do the business this year. Last season was good, but I have high standards and we need to kick it up a gear this year is we want to take the fight to the establishment. I want to be realistically fighting for wins and hopefully the title. I think our small team punches well above its weight and can really take the fight to the bigger names and teams this year, for sure.”

Talking about the new-look championship as a whole, Williams was in a buoyant mood despite the strong opposition.

“Once again the BRC has some quality world class drivers in the field. Having the great events, ITV coverage and top teams and drivers just raises the game for everyone. All eyes will be on the others, Chris Ingram who was guided by Ross [Whittock] to the European title will be out to prove a point as will previous British champions Keith Cronin and Osian Pryce. It will be interesting to see how the order shakes up and how we can pick up the fight. As we found out last year, it’s a long, old year and you have to be there at the end for a chance of taking this championship – a position we hope to be in come the final round.”

James Williams, Ross Whittock and all of the JWR Team are looking forward to getting their teeth into the first round of the year – the North West Stages in Lancashire. 57.5-miles on fast and flowing stages on closed public roads and a strong entry list are the hurdles Williams and Whittock have to overcome to claim round one victory and a strong start to the campaign.

[Photo courtesy of JWR Rally Team]


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