Chesterfield rally driver Rhys Yates finishes sixth overall at British Championship, moving him to fourth in the series
Prestone MSA British Rally Championship (BRC) hopeful Rhys Yates notched an impressive sixth overall and first Englishman home at last weekend’s Pirelli International Rally in Carlisle.
After recording his best ever BRC result of fifth on the opening round in Jedburgh, the Chesterfield ace now moves into a fine fourth position in the championship and just four points shy of a podium position after round two of the series.
The Border Counties Rally back in March was the scene of Yates’ star drive, beating many more experienced drivers to bag a healthy points tally to kick-start his season. Yet again this weekend, Yates and co-driver Carl Williamson took the Brettex Site Services backed Fiesta R5 to a confident boosting result, putting Yates in an inspiring championship position for the remainder of the season.
The Carlisle based event took place in the notorious Kielder forest complex which is famously tricky to master. With two days and 100 competitive miles ahead, Yates would need to return a mature drive over both days if he was to improve on his championship position of sixth going into the weekend.
Yates would open proceedings with tenth quickest on the first Saturday stage had already earmarked where he could improve at the mid-day service. “These stages take a lot of understanding and I`m learning all the time” he said. “We made a few adjustments to the notes on those stages; things are not “that” flat when you come into them at 120mph!”
A new set of Michelin rubber at the remote tyre zone would also transform the car and Yates’ confidence over the remaining stages, ending the opening leg in eighth position.
“It’s been a huge eye opener to see just how quick these stages really are” he remarked at the overnight halt. “We have had a very spongy brake pedal today but it seems a few others have said the same so we just need to keep our heads down tomorrow and push on.”
Push on he did. With Sunday’s stages forming a repeat of the opening day, Yates stamped his mark on the time sheets from the off, trading times with the eventual rally winner and taking a commendable sixth overall in the process.
“It’s been a much better day today and I can certainly feel the difference in my driving and speed during the second loop” he said at the finish. “Making the changes to the notes has helped a lot and once again I`m pleased that we are showing the pace that we are capable of. The speed out front is unreal but I’m not about to risk the championship at this stage of the season to try and get there. It’s been another perfect weekend for the team”.
Yates will now look to the RSAC Scottish Rally at the end of May for round three of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship where he will aim to bag another points haul in Dumfries.
Rhys 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.