British Rally Championship front-runner Rhys Yates will round off his season in style as he heads to the invite-only Monza Rally Show in Italy next week, joining a host of stars from the World Rally Championship and Moto GP including Valentino Rossi (1-3 December).
Not only will the Chesterfield driver be competing against some of the biggest motorsports heroes in the world, but Yates will be joined in the Brettex Ford Fiesta R5 by 1990’s World Rally Championship icon and five-time WRC event winning co-driver, Denis Giraudet.
In just his second year behind the wheel of the latest R5 category machinery, the 24-year-old returned a successful season in the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship, taking fourth overall and finishing ahead of many more experienced contenders.
Continuing his theme of progression in the sport, Yates embarked on a doubleheader of World Rally Championship events to further broaden his experience, contesting Rally Spain and Dayinsure Wales Rally GB in October. Despite both events proving the toughest of his short career, Yates coped admirably with the challenging conditions and ensured he finished both events.
Yates was invited to one of the most popular events in mainland Europe which will see the 30-year-old event pack a capacity crowd into the legendary Monza Race Track near Milan. He will be competing head to head with WRC stars such as Andreas Mikkelsen and Thierry Neuville, the popular Moto GP 7 times World Champion Valentino Rossi and nine-time World MotoCross Champion Antonio Cairoli at the three-day rally.
Yates is understandably excited at the prospect of competing alongside some of the greats.
“It is a true honour to be asked to compete at the Monza Rally Show and I can’t wait to compete at this prestigious event. The Monza circuit and event is steeped in history and attracts some of the most passionate motor sport enthusiasts on the planet.” he said.
“There are so many of my heroes competing in the event at the same time so to be alongside them will be a fantastic experience. Of course, perhaps best of all having Denis with me for the experience will really just top off the weekend and I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to getting out on the circuit in the Fiesta R5”.
He also believes that the weekend will provide valuable experience for the future.
“We have been discussing our plans for 2018 for several months now and whilst nothing is confirmed, let’s say that having Denis alongside for the rally will be a great proving ground for the direction in which we want to head next year. He will undoubtedly bring the advice and feedback I need for the next step in my career.”
The Monza Rally Show kicks off on Wednesday 29th November with a practice session at the circuit before technical checks and shakedown on Thursday 30th. Over 160km of special stages lie ahead on Friday and Saturday before finishing around lunchtime on Sunday 3rd December.
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.