Chesterfield rally ace Rhys Yates is looking for added pace and confidence at Ulster Rally this weekend.
Brettex Site Services backed rally driver Yates will return to the MSA British Rally Championship this weekend and is looking to build on his ever improving pace and gain confidence on the closed asphalt roads which form the Ulster Rally. Yates will resume his BRC campaign behind the wheel of his familiar Fiesta R5 Evo and has sighted his recent sealed surface performance on the Nicky Grist Stages as an indication of what is to come from the 24 year old.
In only his first full year campaigning a four wheel drive machine, Yates has firmly planted his intentions on the BRC leader board after a string of impressive stage times in the ultra-competitive series. His seventh overall at the last round of the series in Wales was thanks to a confidence boosting run over the Epynt Military roads on the second day of the event and Yates is hoping to build on that result as he crosses the Irish Sea for the penultimate round of the championship.
With regular co-driver Tom Woodburn alongside, the duo will also look to capitalise on a strong run of form on sealed surface events, bagging sixth BRC crew at the Circuit of Ireland rally earlier in the year. In what was the biggest challenge of Yates’ motorsport career so far, he put in a mature performance to beat many more experienced drivers on an event which provided extremely challenging weather which included hail and fog.
Whilst it could be argued that asphalt is his preferred surface, the Michelin supported pilot is well aware that the event has a reputation for being notoriously tricky and has worked hard to be prepared for the Londonderry based rally. “We have manged to squeeze in some testing recently and have found a setup which is perfect for the bumpy roads out there” he said. “I feel ready for this event; perhaps more so than any of the others this year and now we have the Evo upgrade it will be good to see how we get on against everyone else”.
“But it’s a two day event and we do have to pace ourselves” he added. “It’s not so much of a sprint. It will be important to have a consistent run to bag some valuable points for the championship and see if we can move up the points table a bit. I need to keep building on the confidence we have gained from the beginning half of the year and build on that pace too now. I just need to remember this was always planned as a learning year, but that’s hard when the lights go green”.
The rally starts at lunchtime on Friday 19th August with almost 50 stage miles on offer before crews return to the overnight halt at around 10 pm. The bulk of the rally takes place on Saturday 20th with over 80 miles of action before the ceremonial finish during the early evening.
Yates is supported by Brettex Site Services, Michelin, NGK Spark Plugs, MSL Motorsport and Simpson.