British driver Rhys Yates will make his first World Rally Championship start aboard a Hyundai i20 R5 at Wales Rally GB (October 3-6).
Rhys has switched from his regular ŠKODA Fabia R5 in search of broader experience of R5 machinery competing in WRC2. The Chesterfield star made his debut aboard a Hyundai at last week’s Gymkhana GRiD event in Poland.
Rhys said: “We’ve spent the last two years in the ŠKODA and there’s no denying it’s a top, top car. Obviously there’s an evolution of the Fabia R5 and we’re looking at that for the future, but there are also a number of other really competitive R5 cars around and I wanted to have a look at them.”
Rhys tested the Hyundai i20 R5 at Sweet Lamb earlier in the summer and admitted he felt at home immediately.
“The car felt really good,” he said. “It had been a while since I’d changed cars, so I expected it to take a few runs to understand how things were working, but almost straight away I got it and really enjoyed the car.
“OK, there are a few small things, a few of the buttons and things like that, that I’ve got to get used to, but being in Poland for [Gymkhana] GRiD last week helped. I certainly got used to where the handbrake is!
“I was keen to make the switch for Wales – it’s an event I know quite well and I’m pretty much at home in the conditions, so it should make the move from car to car slightly more straightforward. On so many of these other World Rally Championship events this year, I’ve been learning the rally, so I could do without having to learn a new car as well.”