Co-driver Phil Hall, of Mansfield, came within a whisker of a podium spot in a prestigious rally in the searing heat of Paraguay.
Just after tackling the second round of the Junior World Championship (JWC), the 29-year-old Hall took his place alongside Skoda Fabia R5 pilot Miguel Garcia for the Super Rally del Nanduti in the country’s capital of Ascuncion. And the newly-formed duo led overall until a damaged radiator demoted them to fourth spot.
Hall had very little time to prepare for the event, while talented youngster Garcia has only just switched to rallying after a programme of circuit racing in the USA. However, they quickly adapted to the unique conditions of savannas and scrubland, and got off to the best possible start with a string of fastest times to lead at the halfway stage.
Sadly, a time-consuming spin cost them the advantage and, in the quest to make up time, their Fabia endured a damaged radiator after a heavy landing on the final stage of the rally.
Hall was still elated, though. He said: “That was such an incredible rally. It was like nothing I have experienced before. It was very tough, but very enjoyable, and well worth the trip.”
Hall returns to JWC action alongside fellow Brit Tom Williams next month.