Mansfield co-driver Phil Hall has linked up with Royal Air Force reservists for the rest of the 2019 Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC) campaign.
It is all part of a unique venture that will launch at the Rally Italia Sardegna, which starts tomorrow (Thursday) and finishes on Sunday.
The collaboration will see the reservists experience life in one of the most demanding motor sport championships, while Hall and his rallying colleagues will be put through their paces by a series of challenges set by the RAF.
The 30-year-old Hall, who himself is a member of the RAF Reserves, said he was delighted to be embarking on this new initiative and believed there were definite symmetries between life in the RAF and the sport of rallying.
He commented: “This new project between myself and the RAF is a very exciting time and will give my reservist colleagues a great insight into just what is required to be a successful rally team at this level.
“I think there will be some aspects that they won’t expect, but teamwork, dedication and a never-give-up attitude will be very familiar to them.
“I really can’t wait to get stuck into the other side of the venture and the challenges they are going to set for me. Although I’m not quite sure what they have lined up yet, it’s sure to be an interesting encounter.”
The reservists, who hail from a range of day-to-day trades, will travel to a rally in Finland, as well as this week’s event in Sardinia, and to the JWRC finale at Wales Rally GB, visiting Hall and the M-Sport rally team who are responsible for running the Ford Fiesta MK8 R2Ts in the series.
They will delve inside life in the JWRC, meeting team members, observing the dedication required and gaining a full understanding of the roles that are needed to compete at the pinnacle of the sport.
In between each event, Hall and the team will have a number of exciting opportunities to mirror the reservists’ experience and sample life in the RAF, obtaining a taste of the different trades that are available to the reserves.
Hall is often regarded as one of the leading new-generation British co-drivers. This year, he has embarked on his fourth full season in the World Rally Championship (WRC) after making his event debut at Rally Australia in 2015.
Returning to contest the JWRC for a second year in succession, Hall and driver Tom Williams have enjoyed an impressive start to the season, and they currently sit sixth overall in the championship. They are the highest-placed British duo and have 22 points, just behind fifth-placed Roland Poom and fourth-placed Julius Tannert
Previously a full-time serviceman himself, Hall left the RAF in 2015 to pursue a full-time professional rallying career, but he returned as a reservist in 2017 and was again able to wear the iconic RAF livery that launched his career.