A pit stop with James Jones
Former Motor Vehicle student and now Chief Technician to the stars of World Rally Cross (WRC), James Jones took a quick pit stop from the current world rally championships to talk to his former training provider.
Already in the thick of the 2017 WRC, James is currently working with four times world champion Sebastian Ogier, and is at present is in the middle of a re-building Ogier's car so that it is ready for the next race, which is in Finland at the end of July 2017.
James, originally from Castle Caereinion, left school at 16 to attend Coleg Powys, Newtown to study Motor Vehicle Maintenance. From college he was offered a Ford Apprenticeship at WR Davies, Newtown - a Ford dealership, which led to a full-time job.
James was always an avid follower of motorsport especially rallying, with a huge passion for cars, and after three years of putting the skills he had learnt at College and the workplace into practice he began to research job opportunities for top teams within motorsport, including the Ford World Rally Team based in Cumbria, run by M-Sport Ltd.
James was 21 years old when he took the life changing decision to pack up everything and move 200 miles north for a week's trial with M-Sport in 2005, it is a decision he has never regretted.
James's career has spanned over a decade climbing the ranks of world rallying from junior category cars – car building/technician (Ford Fiesta) to becoming part of the research and development team for Ford Focus / Ford Fiesta.
Today James is in charge of the build and rebuild of the cars, co-ordinating with purchasers for parts, as well as working with engineers and drivers to get the best out of the car.
James’ role means he must travel to all WRC locations to look after the car. In 2017 there will be are 13 rounds all over the world, including Australia, Mexico, Sweden and Poland so he needs to be able to adjust to working in any climate, from 30 degrees in Australia to minus 30 in Sweden.
Working within M-Sport has given James the opportunity to work with some of the sporting greats such as Marcus Gronholm, Mikko Hirvonen, Elfyn Evans and currently the four times world champion Sebastian Ogier.
M-Sport has around 200 staff at the base in Dovenby, Cumbria, covering a wide variety of job roles such as logistics, design, engineering, fabrication, transmissions just to name a few. Not only does M-Sport work on the WRC programme, they also build Bentley’s for the GT3 race programme and Ford Focus RallyX cars with Ken Block.
If you love cars and want to pursue a career working as a mechanic then it’s not too late to apply for apprenticeship with Pathways Training at Newtown College.
Contact [email protected] or telephone 01686 614253.