Crash in Wales followed by joy in Latvia for Yates

Chesterfield driver Rhys Yates in action in Latvia. (PHOTO BY: Josef Petru)
Chesterfield driver Rhys Yates in action in Latvia. (PHOTO BY: Josef Petru)

A crash in the Wales Rally GB was followed by a confidence-boosting effort in Latvia during an action-packed week for Chesterfield driver Rhys Yates.

The Brettex-backed Yates was hoping to round off the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship with success and ended the first of two points-scoring opportunities in second spot. But on the second day of the gruelling rally, he plunged into a ditch, dashing all his title hopes in one fell swoop.

Undeterred, Yates travelled to Latvia for Rally Liepaja, a qualifier for the FIA European Rally Championship and, alongside co-driver Elliott Edmondson, he finished a fine seventh overall for the Roman Kresta Racing team. He also finished sixth in the U28 junior category.

Yates said: “I was pleased with the result. After the disappointment of Wales, it was a great way to get the confidence back. It was an amazing rally, with much faster stages than I was expecting.

“The great thing is I know there is still more to come. I was looking for a junior podium, and I wasn’t quite fast enough, but I know why and that’s the important thing.

“It’s when you have no idea that it becomes a struggle. It was important to build my experience for the future, and we should be in a great position if we go back next year.”

Yates now turns his attentions to the FIA World Rally Championship, which heads to Spain for the Rally Catalunya this weekend.