Swapping skeleton for Snowdonia: Amy Williams prepares for World Rally Championship debut as co-driver

The Olympic gold medallist will partner the Formula One analyst Tony Jardine on Wales Rally GB

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The Independent Online

Olympic gold medallist Amy Williams is determined to prove herself more than a one-race wonder as she prepares to make her World Rally Championship debut in the Wales Rally GB.

Williams, who became Great Britain's first individual Winter Olympic champion in 30 years when she won skeleton gold in 2010, will partner the Formula One analyst Tony Jardine in the final race of the season, having successfully negotiated the required four national events in order to qualify as a co-driver.

Having been forced to retire from skeleton because of injuries within 12 months of winning gold, Williams will be part of the ceremonial start in Conwy this evening. Her role as both a pundit and mentor at next year's Winter Olympics in Sochi mean she cannot commit herself to a rallying career in the short term, but the 31-year-old insists she would like to continue her involvement.

"I am still going to be looking for other challenges but I have really loved being part of this sport, I have an international co-driving licence and I guess it's an open book," Williams said. "I'm definitely busy with my commitments to the Winter Olympics early next year but if another driver wanted a co-driver I probably wouldn't say no. I would definitely like to take more opportunities."

Three consecutive night stages in the forests of Snowdonia make this rally one of the toughest on the circuit but, having reached speeds of up to 80mph during her skeleton days, Williams is not fazed.

"Some of us are born with something inside us that makes us go and find new thrills, and when I retired I was never going to be one of those people who took a seat on the sofa," she said. "I love a big physical and mental challenge and seeing how far I can push myself. I have always been interested in the motor world and I have been given a fantastic opportunity."

Amy Williams, in charge of directions, alongside Tony Jardine