This weekend’s Rally Sardinia sees the start of an exciting new collaboration between the only British crew in the 2019 Junior World Rally Championship and Royal Air Force Reserves – which will bring Tom Williams and his co-driver Phil Hall, plus rallying in general, to a whole new and very large audience.

RAF Reservists from a range of trades will travel to Rally Sardinia, Rally Finland, and the JWRC finale at Wales Rally GB, visiting Tom and Phil and the M-Sport rally team who are responsible for running the Ford Fiesta R2Ts in the JWRC. They will delve inside life in the WRC, meeting team members, observing the dedication required and gain a full understanding of the roles that are needed to compete at the pinnacle of the sport.

In between each event, Tom and Phil will have a number of exciting opportunities to mirror the Reservists experience and sample life in the RAF, obtaining a taste of the different trades that are available to the Reserves.

All this will be filmed and edited into a series of 12 three minute videos that will be published on the RAF Reservists social media platforms, which has an audience of over a million people.

Previously a full-time serviceman, Phil (one of the leading new-generation British co-drivers) left the RAF in 2015 to pursue a full-time professional rallying career but returned as a Reservist in 2017 and was once again able to wear the iconic RAF livery that launched his career.

He is delighted to be embarking on a new initiative with the Royal Air Force within the sport of rallying and believes there are many similarities between the two.

“This new project between myself and the RAF is a very exciting time and will give my Reservist colleagues a great insight into just what is required to be a successful rally team at this level,” says Phil. “I think there will be some aspects that they won't expect, but team work, dedication and a never give up attitude will be very familiar to them.

“I really can’t wait to get stuck into the other side of the venture and the challenges they are going to set for me. Although I’m not quite sure what they have lined up yet, it's sure to be an interesting encounter.

“Without the Royal Air Force, I would not be in the incredible position I am today competing at the top level of rallying. They gave me the opportunity and support to really progress. As an organisation, the RAF promotes sport at all levels and it's great to be a part of that.”

Royal Air Force Reserves serve alongside Regulars in the UK and overseas. They are able to balance their own careers and home life, alongside the challenge and adventure of being part of the RAF.

“The Royal Air Force Reserves are pleased to announce this exciting venture with Phil Hall throughout 2019,” adds Squadron Leader Simon Briggs, who is co-ordinating the project. “Many people probably don’t know that in Phil’s spare time he’s an RAF Reservist and, in fact, the RAF Reserves and a rally team share a similar outlook – both train hard, deploying to locations worldwide and working as a team to succeed in arduous conditions.

“Over the coming months, Phil will be undertaking several challenges with some of our squadrons, joining them to provide an insight into the roles, opportunities and lifestyle. Conversely, we’ll be sending some of our Reservists to join him and his rally team to find out how they deal with the pressure of operating at the highest levels.”

Phil wears a Stilo WRC Des Carbon Piuma helmet, supplied by Nicky Grist Motorsports.

Phil Hall, Tom Williams, FIA Junior World Rally Championship, Ford Fiesta R2, M-Sport