Rally ace Yates recovers well after suffering pain in Spain

Chesterfield driver Rhys Yates showing tremendous promise among the palm trees in Spain. (PHOTO BY: James Ward/Chicane Media)
Chesterfield driver Rhys Yates showing tremendous promise among the palm trees in Spain. (PHOTO BY: James Ward/Chicane Media)

Defiant Chesterfield driver Rhys Yates overcame a time-zapping delay, when he got stuck, to finish 30th overall at the Rally de Espana.

Yates lost more than 15 minutes on stage 11 of the gruelling rally when he slid wide on a corner and got wedged in the scenery, and he was only able to resume thanks to the hard work of spectators who pulled his car free.

But he recovered to finish 13th in his category in what was a World Rally Championship qualifier against some of the best drivers in the sport, and was delighted by a string of impressive stage-times.

The 26-year-old said: “Of course, it was disappointing to lose all that time, but you have to look at the bigger picture.

“My pace was pretty good all weekend, against some of the best guys in the business, so it was really encouraging for the future.

“I know I have more work to do, but I know where that extra speed can come from, so it makes me want to work harder.”

Behind the wheel of his Brettex-backed Skoda Fabia R5, Yates faced a unique challenge in Spain because the opening day of the rally was held on gravel, while the folllowing two days were on asphalt.

After the opening stage, around the streets of Barcelona, and before his mishap, he was as high as 22nd overall and 11th in his category.