Belfast Telegraph

Leader Wilson delighted by Hyundai opportunity

 

On the up: James Wilson
On the up: James Wilson

By Sammy Hamill

James Wilson heads to West Cork this weekend as leader of the British Rally Championship's junior category and now he has been buoyed up by the opportunity to step up to the top division for the Rally of the Lakes at the beginning of May.

It's all been going in the right direction for Motorsport Ireland's 2018 Young Driver of the Year. Not only did he collect a £50,000 prize as the Billy Coleman Award winner, but he also picked up a £2,500 prize from Peugeot when he finished as top junior on the opening round of the British series in Wales.

Now, thanks to his role with Motorsport Ireland's Rally Academy, the 24-year-old from Armagh will contest the fourth round of the Irish Tarmac Championship in an R5 Hyundai i20.

"It's been a sensational time for me since winning the Billy Coleman Award," said Wilson.

"And, following the announcement of the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy, it's become even more exciting for me.

"Thanks to the new programme I will be lining up to tackle the Killarney Rally of the Lakes in a PCRS RallySport prepared Hyundai i20 R5.

"This is the first part of an expanded programme of Irish events this year as part of the Academy development programme and it is all possible thanks to funding from former Irish Tarmac champion John Coyne through the Team Ireland Foundation. It really is a dream come true for me."

But before he can get to grips with the R5 Hyundai, Wilson will be back on board his little R2 Peugeot to defend his position at the top of a British Junior Championship which is being dominated by Irish drivers.

It was a fierce fight in Wales, with Wilson coming out on top ahead of another Ulster driver, William Creighton, who fought back from a puncture to finish a handful of seconds behind.

Marty Gallagher, Josh McErlean and Jordan Hone, all part of the Irish contingent, finished in line astern.

And, as the BRC series crosses to West Cork for the first time, they are all involved again.

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