Mansfield ace Phil Hall enjoyed the best Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC) result of his career at the weekend when finishing fourth in a closely-fought Rally Sweden.
As expected, the demanding snow and ice-covered stages lived up to their reputation as being highly unpredictable. But 30-year-old co-driver Hall took it all in his stride, guiding fellow Briton Tom Williams to the perfect start to their 2019 campaign.
Sixth place was the duo’s previous best finish, in Turkey last year, but in a new-model Fiesta, they hit the ground running, despite temperatures of up to minus 15 degrees and despite the fact that the snow and ice turned to treacherous slush and gravel over the course of the weekend.
Hall, who is backed by itsmymotorsport.com, said: “This was a truly fantastic result for is in what was a very demanding rally.
“Everything just clicked over the weekend. We stuck to our strategy and really knuckled down to do our own thing.
“I was confident enough to push Tom when I could and try to manage the pace so that we didn’t take too many risks.
“Our tyre plan worked too which helped the result. Everything was just right -- from the rhythm in the car to the goals we had set ourselves.
“It’s great to be back in the JWRC, and this was the perfect way to kick-start the year.”
The five-round championship now switches to asphalt and the Tour De Corse in France at the end of March.