James Williams seals his first BRC win!

James Williams claimed his first Motorsport UK British Rally Championship victory by taking third overall - first registered competitor - at the fifth round of the series, the JDS Machinery Rali Ceredigion 2-3 September. The 25-year-old Newcastle Emlyn driver and co-driver Dai Roberts excelled on home soil after being reunited with a Michelin-shod Hyundai i20 N Rally2, setting a scintillating pace throughout the weekend to finally seal Williams' maiden BRC top score, a result he has hankered after since entering the Junior BRC category in 2017.
The Aberystwyth-based event provided 100 breathtaking stage miles across two days, with the super-fast, undulating moorland roads complimented by narrow, hedge-lined lanes to offer one of the toughest challenges on the BRC calendar. The Ceredigion lanes attracted thousands of fans to watch the action on the stages with a truly international feel to the event - adding kudos to the Welsh event's future ERC aspirations - providing a very special buzz to the region and the rallying community over the two days of competitive driving.
Inch-perfect precision was required to make the most out of the task ahead and Williams set his stall out early, with third overall on the opening stage and just five seconds shy of early rally leader Meirion Evans. But the brutal Welsh lanes bite back, and Williams made it an uphill task for the remainder of the weekend by taking a trip into a field on the second test, dropping him down the order to sixth. But the fightback was on for the young charger and despite a brush with a bale on the fan-packed Aberystwyth Street Stage, Williams' intent was clear. Setting four scratch times during the second day of the event, he clawed his way back onto the rally podium and with it, that all-important BRC victory. Made even sweeter by playing his bonus points-inducing Joker card, netting him the full five additional points for his win.
Whilst overall rally winner, 2022 British Rally Champion Osian Pryce and co-driver Stephane Prevot, were able to take a convincing win, it would be Garry Pearson and Daniel Barritt who took yet another BRC runner-up spot in their Hankook-backed Volkswagen Polo GTi. Pearson enjoyed a largely trouble-free weekend behind the wheel, even briefly leading the BRC chargers after Williams' excursion. But the Scot would be forced to settle for second behind a charging Williams, however, he remains the closest charger to series leader Adrien Fourmaux with two rounds remaining this season.
The British Rally Championship now reverts to gravel for the final two rounds of the season, as Trackrod Rally Yorkshire provides classic Dalby stages at the end of September as the penultimate rally of the 2023 championship.

3rd September, 2023