New recruit Williams brings 2019 FIA ERC Junior registrations to 34
The Eurosport Events-promoted FIA ERC3 Junior Championship has increased its intake to 20 with confirmation that James Williams will make his debut in the Pirelli-supported category on this week’s Rally di Roma Capitale (19-21 July).
A class winner in the MSA British Rally Championship, 23-year-old Williams will compete in a new-for-2019 Ford Fiesta R2T as he follows a long line of rising talents stepping up from national to international level in ERC3 Junior.
“It’s going to be cool,” said Williams. “I’ve only done the BRC before so it will be a big step up, but it will be interesting. I quite like Tarmac, it’s a strong surface for me. Going to Rome will be new. I have to find my feet, but [I’ve had] a chance to see what the roads are like, the characteristics. I’ll be sussing it out a little bit but it’s a good opportunity.”
Williams, who is co-driven by fellow Briton Tom Woodburn, will travel to Italy from his native Wales on a high following his class success on the recent Ypres Rally in Belgium, which gave him his first competitive outing in the new Fiesta.
“The aim is to prove the car against the Peugeots and the Opel ADAMs, but I don’t go into any rally unless I’m trying to win it,” said Williams, who studies Motorsport Management at university in Swansea, South Wales. “We need to be realistic but it’s the plan to do as well as I can, and I feel quite confident coming from Ypres. It should be good.”
While Rally di Roma Capitale is currently a one-off in ERC3 Junior, Williams is open to more appearances. “I hope there will be further opportunities, but we take it step by step at the minute,” he said.
ERC3 Junior is for drivers born on or after 1 January 1992 competing in R2 cars on Pirelli tyres. While 20 have registered for this year’s championship – which lists Stéphane Lefebvre, Emil Bergkvist, Marijan Griebel, Chris Ingram and MārtiņšSesks as its previous title winners – a further 14 have registered for ERC1 Junior for young stars in R5 cars for a total of 34 registrations.
Photo: BRC/Jakob Ebrey Photography