Chesterfield rally-driver Rhys Yates will embark on the biggest season of his career in 2019 as he steps up to the FIA World Championship.
After three seasons in the British Rally Championships, with sporadic outings in Europe, Yates faces a campaign at the pinnacle of the sport.
The 26-year-old will tackle nine rounds of the WRC2 category in his Brettex-supported Skodia Fabia R5, beginning with the legendary Monte Carlo Rally at the end of this month.
Yates is one of the most progressive drivers in the UK, even though he only switched from two wheels to four in 2013. He secured his first overseas victory in Belgium 12 months ago and went on to set a string of top times in the European Championship during the year.
Now he will go up against some of the quickest drivers in the business at a level just one below the full world championship.
Yates said: “This will be the toughest season of my career, but I feel I am ready to prove that I have what it takes to compete at this level.
“We have secured a fantastic team, and everything looks very positive. There will be so much to learn in such a short space of time. But sometimes, you just have to get stuck in and experience it all.”
After Monte Carlo, races will follow in Spain, Portugal, Finland and Germany.