AFTER months of inactivity rallying is beginning to restart across Europe and for local co-driver Keaton Williams it means a trip to Italy for Rally Di Alba to get the season up and running.
Former Hereford student Williams will team up with his regular driver Irish youngster Josh McErlean in the Motorsport Ireland & PCRS run Hyundai R5. A year that promised so much for the young duo, will now see them tackle a series of events throughout Europe for the youngsters to gain much needed experience, but again this depends on the spread of Covid-19, if planned events later this year run.
But the Alba based event this weekend has attracted a real high quality field with the three factory run Hyundai i20 WRC of Ott Tanak, Thierry Neuville and new boy Pierre-Louis Loubet, plus the Hyundai Italia in entry of Luca Pedersoli.
But the Hyundai brand are massively represented in the R5 category with no less than 16 Hyundai R5’s on the entry list with fellow Motorsport Ireland entry of Callum Devine, plus fellow countrymen Josh Moffett and Phil Allen also making the trip.
The format of the event consists of three loops of three stages totalling some 102 kilometres of twisty Italian asphalt.
Williams said: “It is nice to be back in a rally environment again, it takes some getting your head around that the world virtually ground to a halt. “Rallying like other sports was irrelevant given what was going on, but we are back and hopefully we can come away with a good result here.
“However, there is a superb entry so it’s not going to be easy, then we will take each event as it comes.”
Another local co-driver getting ready to restart is Paul Morris, the Ross based service engineer will co-drive Calum Black in a new Pallas Connections backed Ford Fiesta R5.
The duo will start with Rally Monteberg at the end of August followed a week later the Tour of Flanders.
At the moment both events are subject to Belgian government approval, given an increase in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks.