For twenty-two year old rally driver James Wilson from Keady, County Armagh, the 2017 season is an incredibly exciting one, with a new car- the 1600cc Peugeot 208 R2- and now a new sponsor in Philip White Tyres, to give him added support in his Irish Tarmac Championship campaign.
“It’s fantastic to have Philip White Tyres on board for the rest of the season, and I am particularly proud to have the name on the car, as they supported my grand-father Jimmy, Uncle Glen, and my dad Trevor in rallying through the year’s. I am trying to carry on the families rallying history, and I would like to emulate my father’s achievement’s in winning the hotly contested 1600cc category in the Irish Tarmac Championship and then see where we could go from there” said the young engineer.
The Keady driver won the Junior category in the 2016 ANICC Northern Ireland Rally Championship, using a Peugeot 106, before the family team invested in a brand new left hand drive Peugeot 208 R2 from Peugeot Sport in France, and entered the R2 category, considered to be an important stepping stone for young driver’s in Ireland’s premier rallying series. “We had to miss the Galway International in February as the new car hadn’t arrived, but we got a good third in category on our debut with the car on the West Cork International in March. Since then we have contested some smaller one day events with class success, which has helped me to acclimatise to the car and the change to left hand drive before this weekend’s Killarney Rally of the Lakes. I feel much happier in the car, and with the setup also and I am very much looking forward to the rally now, especially over the classic Killarney stages like the legendary Molls Gap!”
After Killarney, James and co-driver Gavin Doherty will tackle the Donegal International in June, the Ulster International in August and the Cork 20 International Rally in September. For Philip White Senior the association with rallying goes back a long way. Philip White Tyres was the title sponsor of the Ulster Rally in the past and of course supported the career of Armagh ace and twice Irish Tarmac Rally Champion; Andrew Nesbitt.
“It’s great to be involved now with a young local driver like James, especially with his families rallying history and we all wish him the best of luck for the season ahead” said Philip. “Rallying is a great sport and the Irish Tarmac Championship, like our tyre business takes place all round the country. Hopefully James will have some great experiences, and meet some great people like we have over the year’s at the rallies.”
With its base in Armagh, Philip White Tyres, founded in 1982, has expanded over the years, with retail depots also now in Belfast, Campsie, Dungannon, Castleblayney and Dublin. Coupled to this a successful wholesale business which delivers daily to customers all over Ireland, the UK and even further afield, and a passion for all types of tyres from a wheel-barrow to an Earthmover, it’s a winning team in tyres!