Olympic gold medallist Amy Williams starts her second WRC event on Friday admitting she has never felt less prepared for a sports competition in her career.
But the 34-year-old, who returns to the co-driver’s seat at Dayinsure Wales Rally GB three years after her debut, is not about to panic as she readies herself for the encounter alongside Formula 1 TV pundit Tony Jardine.
Williams became the first British individual gold medallist at the Winter Olympics for 30 years when she won the skeleton in Canada in 2010. She retired in 2012 through injury and partnered Jardine to class victory at the rally in 2013.
The pair return in a Mitsubishi Lancer but in contrast to her debut, there have been no warm-up rallies to reacclimatise herself.
“I’ve not had much preparation, I’m the least prepared I’ve ever been for a competition in my life,” Williams told wrc.com.
Tuition from Craig Parry, co-driver to Elfyn Evans, has helped Williams in the build-up and her experience on the ice allied with the knowledge gained from her 2013 outing means she will be a cool head inside the car.
"I freaked out a few weeks ago thinking I’d forgotten how to do everything, remembering the stress of doing the time cards and every second being your responsibility. I did think ‘oh my word’, I have just two recce days to remember that, but Craig has been brilliant.
“Not panicking, trying to stay calm and being confident in your own decisions are essential. I’ve always gone by my gut decisions in life and I need to do that on this rally.
“If you think you’re a bit lost, it’s important to have highlighted certain things in the pace notes that can get you back on track as quickly as possible. When I was doing skeleton if you made a big mistake in a corner, the person who won was the person who got back on the line as fast as possible,” she added.
Williams admits rallying’s buzz was a key factor in her return. “Three years ago I fell in love with the sport and learning new skills. I found a real link and a crossover from skeleton - the adrenalin, the speed and the quick thinking,” she said.