A nineteen-year-old engineering apprentice at Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) is taking part in the Phil Price Memorial Woodpecker Rally – and raising funds for and awareness of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity in the process.
Billy Grew, who works in the Test and Trials team of the Life Extension Programme at the RBSL’s Hadley Castle Works in Telford, has entered his M-Sport prepared Fiesta R2 in the rally, which takes place on Saturday September 3. Organised by Sixty and Worcestershire Motor Club, the “Woody” is one of the most popular events on the British rallying calendar, and will see competitors zipping through stages in the Radnor and Haye Park Forests.
RBSL is no stranger to SSAFA – it is one of the charity’s Corporate Partners – and Billy is no stranger to motorsport.
Detailing his experience, Billy – who competes in the BTRDA Gravel Series in Welsh, Northern England, and Scottish forests – said:
“At 14 I started out in motorsport, competing in the Junior F1000 rally series. In my first year I achieved ‘Top Rookie’ and went on to achieve multiple podiums against much older and more experienced drivers – completing the season fourth overall in the F1000 championship.”
The young engineer’s aspirations include becoming a Senior Trials Engineer within RBSL, progressing longer term to lead his own Trials Team at RBSL.
“But”, he continues, “rallying doesn’t take a back seat! Outside of work, I’m very passionate about continuing to develop my driving skills and be recognised as a very successful rally driver. This will not only require commitment and determination, but also hard work to secure the necessary funding and sponsorship.”
Rallying is clearly a family passion.
His uncle, Mark Jasper competes in many national rallies driving very high-spec cars such as Mk2 Escorts and Metro 6R4s. Billy’s father will be servicing and maintaining the rally-ready Fiesta throughout, but his support does not end there. Jason’s employer, Barclays, has agreed to match fund Billy’s fundraising for SSAFA up to £1,000.
On why he is fundraising for SSAFA, the UK’s oldest tri-service charity, Billy explained:
“SSAFA’s mission is to be a trusted source of support for serving personnel, veterans, and their families in their time of need. My line of work has provided a fantastic insight into the operations our Armed Forces, the challenges that they face and the sacrifices on family life and togetherness.
“I believe the work SSAFA does – supporting and signposting those with post-injury trauma or issues around mental wellbeing, and helping our serving personnel transition back into civilian life – is outstanding. I want to do all that I can to help raise awareness and vital funding to support this cause.”
Billy is clearly a young man going places – and fast. Support his fundraising for SSAFA by visiting ssafa.enthuse.com/cf/rbsl-rally-car.
For more information, visit ssafa.org.uk.