Mansfield's Phill Hall takes positives from Portugal challenge

Phil Hall remains in overall third place despite taking no points from Portugal.Phil Hall remains in overall third place despite taking no points from Portugal.
Phil Hall remains in overall third place despite taking no points from Portugal.
Mansfield’s Phil Hall was eager to “take away the positives” from last weekend’s second round of the FIA Junior World Rally Championship series after engine failure denied him another top result at Vodafone Rally de Portugal.

The RAF Reserves High Performing Athlete and Motorsport UK Team UK squad member would resume his Junior WRC title charge alongside fellow Briton Jon Armstrong, after taking his maiden world-level victory at the first round of the series in Croatia just a few weeks ago.

Despite the new partnership, Hall guided Armstrong to a series of top times during the season opener and that performance continued on the gruelling gravel tracks of Portugal, winning five from eight stages on the opening day.

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But the pairing would cruelly suffer an unfortunate engine failure, putting them out of the rally. However, thanks to earning numerous bonus points through their brilliance across the hugely demanding opening half of the rally, Hall still sits third in the co-driver standings despite a zero score due to their retirement.

Phil Hall was hit by engine failure.Phil Hall was hit by engine failure.
Phil Hall was hit by engine failure.

“It would be easy to focus on the result and zero score but that really isn’t the news story here,” says Hall.

“It was great to be able to pick up where we left off in Croatia and the pace was certainly there throughout each aspect of the weekend. Winning six from 13 stages [completed] is a huge achievement in the Junior WRC – it is such a closely fought series.

“It really shows what we are capable of. On an event like this it’s really key to bring not only my previous WRC experience, but also the leadership skills and resilience I’ve developed in the RAF - it really is a truly challenging rally.

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“It’s great that I`m still third in the championship but even more positive is that we've shown our pace is right up there at the front and that we can do it consistently.

"It was great to have the support of the British Embassy, Ambassador, and Defence Attaché to Portugal throughout the rally and it was an honour to fly the flag for the UK in another World Championship event.

”Everything bodes well for the remainder of the season and we will continue to focus on our strengths and build towards the next round.”

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