William Hill gave the M-Sport-built Hills Ford-backed Fiesta Rally3 an impressive Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship debut when he finished runner-up in the highly competitive B14 class on the Reed Group East Riding Stages.
Against eventual class winner Joe McKeand (Subaru Impreza) and the likes of the hard-charging Mark Jasper (Metro 6R4), Lee Hastings (Subaru Impreza), Steven Ormond-Smith (Mitsubishi Evo IX) and Mark Holmes (Ford Fiesta S2000), Hill overcame an illness in the days leading up to the event (which at one stage he feared would force him to withdraw his entry) to finish 21st overall – and just 1.9 seconds shy of a top 20 result.
“We had a few flat-shift issues throughout the day, and as things dried the conditions started to come back to the fast 2WDs and R5s/Subarus, but we enjoyed pedalling the 235bhp at our disposal as hard as we could,” said co-driver Richard Crozier.
“It was a fantastic drive by Will, who was feeling so under the weather on the Thursday/Friday that we doubted we’d even be starting the rally. It’s amazing what a navigator keeping your driver topped up with paracetamol and Jakemans throat sweets on road sections can do!
“Well done to Joe McKeand and Charlotte McDowall on the class win – cracking pace!
“It was a great haul of points to kick off our Protyre Asphalt Rally Championship campaign and well done to Paul Morris, Donna Preston and the team for pulling it all together. It looks set to be a cracking season!”