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World Rally Championship co-driver Phil Hall ensured he ended his 2019 competitive season on a high, by winning the Royal Air Rally Championship thanks to a last-minute seat alongside Ross Leach at the Hall Trophy Rally.

Hall, 30 from Mansfield near Nottingham secured the hard-fought domestic title after a buoyant season in the Junior World Rally Championship, made even more poignant thanks to this season’s unique collaboration with the Royal Air Force during his World Championship campaign.

His result, on the only mandatory round of the series, was enough to hand him the honour despite being a far cry from the gruelling WRC rounds he has endured this season.

Hall is often regarded as one of the leading new-generation British co-drivers and entered his fourth full season in the WRC in 2019 after making his debut at Rally Australia in 2015.

He embarked on his inaugural WRC programme in 2016 in the Drive DMACK Trophy and would spend 2017 on a whirlwind tour of the world, co-driving for a variety of rapid youngsters. He would join Briton Tom Williams at Rally Finland that year, forging a partnership that saw the duo contest the Junior WRC together ever since.

His WRC campaign also drew significant interest from the Royal Air Force and as a Reservist himself, was able to enter into a unique programme which saw fellow Reservist’s experience life in one of the most demanding motorsport championships on the planet, whilst Hall and his colleagues from the World Championship were put through their paces by a series of challenges set by the RAF.

RAF Reservists from a range of trades headed to Rally Sardinia, Rally Finland, and the Wales Rally GB, visiting Hall and the M-Sport rally team to sample life in different WRC roles.

Hall’s season in the Junior WRC has seen him secure 9th in the championship but he has also enjoyed other high-profile outings during the year. Former WRC co-driver Nicky Grist enlisted Hall’s skills in the ex-works Toyota Celica at the Eifel Rallye Festival in the summer thanks to a break in his WRC programme.

The Royal Air Force Championship offers the opportunity to nominate rounds to score points which led to Hall only needing a solid score at the mandatory final round of the season to seal the title, which he did in style, ending his season on a positive note.

“It’s most certainly been a tough season in the Junior WRC but securing the Royal Air Force Rally Championship was important for me to do this year, thanks so much to Ross for stepping up at the last minute and delivering a fantastic drive” said Hall.

“RAF Rallying holds a very close place to my heart and of course they have been alongside me in every part of my WRC journey this season, so it was a really nice way to end the year with my name on the RAF Championship trophy”.

Hall is currently evaluating plans for the forthcoming year.

“The title is a nice one for the CV but undoubtedly my focus has been for some time on what 2020 and beyond holds for me. I certainly won’t be standing still that’s for sure and I have several opportunities to explore over the winter. It looks like another busy year ahead”.

Hall is partnered by and the Royal Air Force in 2019.

Image credit M-Sport/JWRC

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