Rhys Yates aims to end British Rally Championship season in the top three at this weekend’s Rally Isle of Man
Chesterfield rally driver Rhys Yates will head to the final round of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship (BRC) this weekend in the hope of ending the season inside the top three places of the series at the Rally Isle of Man.
After a tough penultimate round which saw a non-finish for Yates, the Brettex backed Ford Fiesta R5 driver will be aiming to put all that behind him as he fights to leap into the final podium places on the gruelling three-day event. Yates will be joined by new co-driver Andrew Roughead and for the first time, score team points for the CA1 Sport outfit on the event.
Fresh from a career best third overall at the Nicky Grist Stages in July, Yates headed to the penultimate round of the series in Ulster with high hopes but was caught out by the treacherous conditions and came away with a zero score. However, it’s never truly over and Yates currently sits just 20 points away from a podium spot.
With two opportunities to score points at the double header this weekend, Yates has one eye on finishing amongst the best drivers in Europe and if he keeps out of trouble during the three days, his result could see him become the first Englishman home in the series.
“I won’t lie, it’s been a tough year,” says Yates.
“But I’m learning all of the time and the experience I’m gaining on each event has been invaluable. Some of these guys have been doing this for years and years so I need to remember this is just my second attempt at the British Championship.”
Yates is pleased with how the season has progressed.
“The important thing is that we have got the pace to challenge for podiums and that just needs combining with the experience now and apply it to the stages. The Manx is going to be a big challenge and it’s three full on days so a lot can happen. We need to think about how to approach it and what is best for the championship. We have come a long way this season so we don’t want to mess it up now”.
Rally Isle of Man offers over 150 miles of closed public roads across the island. Thursday 14th September sees crews contest a handful of stages in the afternoon before stages are tackled under the cover of darkness. Friday is the longest leg of the event with a full day competition and more nighttime stages, finishing at around 11pm. Saturday houses just 50 miles with the ceremonial finish taking place outside the famous TT Grandstand that afternoon.
Yates is backed in 2017 by Michelin, Protyre, Kick Motorsport, Simpson, Zenith Racing, Prestone, Draper Tools, Jordan Road Surfacing and NGK Spark Plugs.