British driver Tom Williams will begin his second season in the FIA Junior World Rally Championship next weekend on Rally Sweden.
20-year-old Williams is one of 13 drivers entered into the championship which this season sees a new R2 car based on the MK8 Ford Fiesta being used for the first time having been developed by M-Sport in Poland.
The youngster goes into the opening round of the series having contested the Arctic Lapland Rally in Finland in January as preparation for the new season, although his event was cut short after the plastic inside the engine bay of the rented car he was using froze because of the low temperatures.
Williams said on the upcoming opening round of the 2019 JWRC: “We’re going to Rally Sweden looking for a clean run and a strong start to the FIA Junior World Rally Championship. There are only five rounds of the JWRC, so it’s important to finish them all – and to finish them well, so we’ll be aiming to improve our results in this my second year in the series.”
“Sweden is a tricky start to the season as it’s such a specialised event and we’ll be competing against a lot of Scandinavian drivers who have a lot more experience of rallying on snow and ice. In preparation for this, I did the Arctic Lapland Rally in an old Fiesta R2. It was good practice, even though the conditions were a lot more severe than they’ll be in central Sweden and the freezing temperature caused issues with the car and we didn’t do as many kilometres as we had hoped.”
He added: “With the Rally Sweden route identical to last year, and with a good winter test under my belt, I’m really looking forward to the opening JWRC round. The event will be a big challenge, especially as the new Fiesta R2 will make the JWRC competition even more intense in 2019, yet I feel very well prepared for what should be an incredible season.”
Last season saw Williams finish 10th in the championship with a season best result of sixth both on Rally Finland and Rally Portugal.
The opening round of the 2019 FIA Junior World Rally Championship takes place as part of Rally Sweden next weekend.