Chesterfield’s Rhys Yates heads for third round of the British Rally Championship in Dumfries
Brettex Site Services backed rally ace Rhys Yates will take his Prestone MSA British Rally Championship (BRC) aspirations to Scotland this weekend (19th/20th May) for the third round of the series, the RSAC Scottish Rally.
After notching up two top six finishes in the series so far, Yates lies an impressive fourth in the BRC standings in what is only his second year in the championship, just four points away from the podium spots heading into the Dumfries based event.
Yates, 24 from Chesterfield and co-driver Carl Williamson have enjoyed a successful season so far, culminating in a best ever fifth spot on the Border Counties Rally just along the Scottish border in Jedburgh. The third round moves west to Dumfries and classic stages in the Twiglees and Ae forests lie in wait for the duo.
Driving his familiar Ford Fiesta R5, Yates made sure his preparation for the tough, two-day event was up to scratch by returning to the BTRDA Rally Series last weekend at the Plains Rally. Despite Williamson not being available, Yates and stand in co-driver James Morgan took the Brettex Fiesta to 6th overall and Yates was happy with the outing.
“We certainly didn’t enter the rally to win it, it was more about seat time and trying a few setup changes on the car to find out what worked better” said Yates. “The stages are not that similar to Scotland but they are equally as fast. It was good to fill the gap between the last rally and the Scottish, the seat time is really important”.
In a change to last year’s format, the Scottish Rally becomes a two-day event and kicks off with a double run around the Mount Joe stage on Friday night, with the second likely to be in fading light. This will mark only Yates’ second attempt at the tricky Dumfries and Galloway forest tests but he still has his sights set on a solid performance.
“I didn’t have such a good run there [Scottish Rally] last year but I have learnt so much about the car and myself since then” says Yates. “It’s a tough event and can be rough in places so it’s all about balancing the speed with preservation. I’m confident in the Michelin tyres so we need to concentrate on another decent finish. It’s tempting to look at the BRC standings and go all out for the podium positions but we are not even at the halfway point of the season yet. There is a long way to go”.
Yates is backed in 2017 by Michelin, Protyre, Kick Motorsport, Simpson, Zenith Racing, Prestone, Draper Tools, Jordan Road Surfacing and NGK Spark Plugs.
He also receives grateful support from a number of local businesses including H&F PES, Maun Motors, MFA, Calow Lane MOT Centre, The Mobility Shop, Glazebrook Transport, Woodleigh Motor Sales, Juice Motorsport and Clear Edge Filtration Group.
Image courtesy of Frank Love – Race & Rally Photography