Carl Williamson Reflects on His First Year With Crazy Leo

I sit here on my first flight to Canada of 2013 and find myself reflecting on the previous 12 months.

It's hard to put it into words so I will ask some fundamental questions of myself attempt to answer them. Plus I can convince myself I'm important enough to have had an interview like I've just read in the in-flight magazine... :)

So, you're here again Carl. What brought you back?

Well, I'm either lucky enough to be asked back by Crazy Leo or I am Crazy enough to come back when asked.... I haven't decided which it is yet.

But seriously, I think we have the chance to right some mistakes that we made in 2012. Leo has enormous potential and we didn't necessarily as a team make the best of that potential. We did make some brilliant progress though and we just need to capitalize in 2013 on the things we 'did' learn.

What did you think of the Canadian Rally Championship?

The stages are absolutely awesome. Some of them are worthy of WRC. There is a bit of everything in there and throughout the championship we are subjected to all weathers and conditions which is awesome.

I won't lie, some of the rallies are better than others in terms of Organisation but it doesn't detract from the quality of the rallies.

What do you like most about Canadian Rallying?

Well, it's a fantastic excuse to visit my brother in Toronto.

Oh yeah, and the spectators and volunteers - they show such passion

That its hard not to be enthusiastic about it. They definitely make it all worthwhile.

How does it differ from the Rally America series?

The stages are a bit better, and I think it's fair to say that the Organisation is slightly better.

What differences stand out between North America and Europe in rallying?

Organisation. FIA has ruled for so long now in Europe that there is a straightforward format that tends to be followed. In North America, there tends to be a lot of variation, although some events last year were much better than the others. Not consistent enough across the championship though.

On another note, the distances you have to travel!! In the UK, you can get to most rallies within 4 hours.... Here it's up to 2-3 days!! Maybe Leo has a contact with a big Russian Antonov plane that can just carry the rally cars everywhere!??

What about the level of competition over here?

I personally don't like the Open Class over here. Where can you develop driving talent that can compete at the highest levels of Europe if they cant compete in North America without masses of budget? The Open Class at the top of the tree overshadows the smaller, production classes which is where it should really be happening. Nobody in Europe will know who won super production gt or whatever it is. Plus if you've got drivers who have got the budget, it still doesn't prepare them for the level of European competition. North America needs to level the playing field a little.

Anyone who goes from North America to UK or Europe is in for a serious wake up call.

When does work on your next film start?

ha ha - only joking....

Did you have a favourite rally of 2012?

Baie Des Chaleurs I think. The stages were very diverse and so was the weather actually. We had various car problems but it was also a turning point for us in terms of where our pace was.

Also the Quebec fans tend to be that much more passionate.

If you could change something about Canadian Rallying, what would it be?

See above really, there has to be a better defined 'ladder' of achievement really to encourage young drivers into international rallying.

What are your goals for 2013?

To win, and go fast of course!