Chesterfield’s REIS-Ravenol BTRDA Series class frontrunner Rhys Yates will head to Wales this weekend as he contests the sixth round of the national rally championship, the Nicky Grist Stages, on Saturday.
Once again piloting his Brettex Site Services Ford Fiesta R2, the youngster will be looking to further increase his lead in the ultra-competitive B10 class and close in on the coveted BTRDA Silver Star title.
Fresh from a hat-trick of class wins, Yates enters the final three rounds of the championship with a comfortable lead in the BTRDA championship and lies just a few points adrift of the two wheel drive title to boot.
The 22-year-old will be joined by a new co-driver for the event as regular partner Phil Hall has other commitments, seeing Tom Woodburn step in on the Builth Wells-based event.
But having another co-driver in the car will not faze Yates.
“It will be a shame Phil isn’t in the car with me but we had originally only planned to contest the MSA English Rally Championship this year” he said.
“Our results have led us to add the BTRDA series to our plans and he had other commitments, so Tom (Woodburn) will step in for this event.
“I haven’t had many co-drivers in my career so it may take a few corners to get used to Tom’s voice, but I’m sure we will be fine once we settle in.”
Yates has quickly adapted to the Fiesta this year after spending much of his early years as a successful British Motocross Youth rider, and as the season tips over the halfway point Yates is looking forward to the Welsh stages, which centre on the Epynt military ranges.
“The event uses classic stages in Wales which have been used in the World Championship before and will certainly be a challenge,” he said.
“But this year has been about learning the stages and gaining experience for the future. That said, I’m totally committed to another B10 class win so we won’t be backing off anywhere, I’ll be attacking from the very first stage.”
The event will provide over 44 all-gravel stage miles in the Crychan, Monument and Halfway forest complex. Yates, who is supported by Brettex Site Services, Pirelli and PIAA, starts the event at No.71 seed in the Brettex Fiesta.