Mansfield rally man Phil Hall helps nurture fresh RAF talent
A Mansfield rally driver is helping to nurture RAF talent.
In 2019, the iconic Royal Air Force roundel appeared on a rally car in the WRC for the very first time with RAF Reservist Phil Hall.
Serving with the RAF as both a Regular and Reserve, the Royal Air Force has supported Hall’s pursuit of becoming a World Rally Championship co-driver from the start.
Now one of the most experienced co-drivers in the country, it wasn’t long before his knowledge would be tapped into by RAF Motorsport.
“It’s always exciting for me to get involved with an RAF Motorsport project as it really is an integral part of where I started in the sport.
"So, when I was asked to help Cpl Pam Parsons as part of the talent development pathway, I was only too happy to assist.”
Parsons has ambitions to climb the ranks of the rallying spectrum and as part of a new RAF Motorsport initiative, Hall has been recruited in a mentoring role, helping to guide her through the all-important early stages of the co-driver journey.
“I’ve always wanted to give something back and being able to impart my knowledge to someone who is eager to follow a similar path to mine is fantastic” says Hall.
“I’m using my experience and access opportunities to help develop future talent in RAF Rallying, with Cpl Parsons being the first beneficiary.”
In 2021, Hall has embarked on an exciting new initiative with fellow Brit Jon Armstrong in the Junior WRC series and the duo currently are well in the mix to fight for the title as the series heads towards the final two rounds.
Parsons will be able to reap the benefits of Hall’s extensive knowledge and has already benefited from a series of one-to-one remote training sessions on background, preparation, and equipment.
It hasn’t all been confined to the classroom however, as she was also able to accompany Hall in a pre-Rally Portugal test where she experienced a top-flight ride in a rally car alongside Jon Armstrong.
"Phil is a great mentor, patient, inspiring and he always ensures he makes the time to call me prior to any of my events to talk me through any concerns I may have, despite how busy his own rally schedule keeps him," said Parsons continues.
At the end of August, Parsons will take part in her first rally, co-driving for former RAF Rally Champion Sqn Ldr Phil Bruce with the support of Hall.
The development programme will continue over the coming months, with aim to include her in more WRC level activities in order to build her experience.
“Giving something back to the organisation that laid the foundation for my career is extremely important to me,” says Hall.
“Co-driving is certainly not for everyone, so to see someone from the RAF Motorsports programme wanting to follow a similar path to me really resonates.
"I want to help them succeed and I'm excited to assist in Pam’s development as she gains more experience in the coming months.”