Video: Phil Hall giving pace notes during the Isle of Man rally for driver Josh Cornwell
A Mansfield man taught to co-drive by Colin McRae’s ex-navigator is currently competing on the most dangerous roads in motorsport.
Phil Hall is a rally co-driver, meaning he reads out pace notes for drivers to go as fast as they can on twisty and narrow roads on different surfaces such as tarmac, gravel or snow.
He has co-drove for a number of teams around the world and is currently co-driving for a Junior World Rally Championship competitor, Tom Williams.
Speaking on Sports Week, Phil Hall said: “The information is largely determined by the driver, so how much information he or she wants, and we break it down into grading corners to describe the route and the distances between the corners.
“They can then see bit further down the road than what their vision can see which means they can carry more speed through blind corners, for example.
“In that video, Josh Cornwell had only seen that stage twice on a slow, normal road car speed to give it a look a couple of days before, so we made the route description during that day before going straight into competition.
Video: Phil speaking on Sports Week about his development
Phil says his job becomes even more important when it is raining, foggy or at night.
“When the driver can’t see, they start to trust you absolutely to carry as much speed as they can to try and win.
“There’s a lot on the line and when you’re in this bad weather, you have to deliver them at the right time with the most accurate description possible.”
Phil will co-drive for Tom Williams in the junior category of the World Rally Championship in Germany this weekend.
He co-drove for Tom at Rally Finland on July 27-30 but was excluded after the first day because of an engine change.
Phil is looking forward to making the distance in Germany.
“It’s the biggest rally in Germany which covers roads ranging through the vineyards in the valleys to the military ranges.
“It’s a huge event with a huge amount of fans there and we’re competing over 300km – it’s going to be a big rally.
“I did an event in New Zealand at the start of this year as part of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship and that is just a phenomenal country to compete in.
“You’ve seen Lord of the Rings – that’s the kind of scenery we are competing in.”