TEIFI driver James Williams, hailing from Newcastle Emlyn, notched his maiden victory in the Motorsport UK British Rally Championship. Williams, at 25 years old, partnered with co-driver Dai Roberts to steer their Michelin-equipped Hyundai i20 N Rally2 to a remarkable third-place finish at the JDS Machinery Rali Ceredigion, marking a significant milestone in his rallying career.
Williams, who had been competing in the Junior BRC category since 2017, expressed his elation, saying, “I’m delighted to take my first BRC win, and it’s well deserved. It’s been a long time coming, and I have to thank my team, supporters, sponsors, and local backers who played a vital role in this achievement.” He emphasized the need for more seat time to maximize his performance in the Hyundai.
The Aberystwyth-based event unfolded across two intense days, featuring 100 miles of challenging stages that combined fast moorland roads with narrow, hedge-lined lanes. The rally drew thousands of enthusiastic fans, lending a vibrant international atmosphere to the event.
Williams showcased his talent early in the competition, securing third place on the opening stage, only five seconds behind the leader, Meirion Evans. However, a detour into a field during the second test momentarily dropped him to sixth place. Determined to make a comeback, Williams delivered four top times on the second day, reclaiming his position on the podium and securing his first BRC victory. He further boosted his points with a strategic Joker card play.
The overall rally victory was claimed by 2022 British Rally Champion Osian Pryce and co-driver Stephane Prevot, while Garry Pearson and Daniel Barritt secured the runner-up spot in their Volkswagen Polo GTi. Pearson, currently the closest contender to series leader Adrien Fourmaux, maintained a strong performance throughout the weekend.
The Junior BRC category featured a captivating battle, with Ioan Lloyd initially leading in his Peugeot 208 Rally4. However, Kyle White surged ahead over subsequent stages. Yet, local heroes Lloyd and co-driver Sion Williams returned to the top spot on Sunday, securing their first Junior BRC victory to the delight of the home crowd. White still remains in contention for the championship.
In contrast, Kyle McBride and Liam McIntyre endured a challenging rally in the Fiesta Rally4, suffering a non-finish after an unfortunate jump-related incident.
Returning to the series, Callum Black entered the National Rally Title contest in his Pirelli-equipped Ford Fiesta Rally2, putting on a strong performance and briefly holding second place overall. He eventually settled for fourth place and maximum National points.
Welshman William Mains made a triumphant return in his Vauxhall Nova, clinching a class win and second place in the National Rally Title alongside co-driver Tomos Whittle.
The British Rally Championship now shifts to gravel for the final two rounds of the season, with the Trackrod Rally Yorkshire in September and the penultimate event of 2023.