A stunning performance at the star-studded Monza Rally Show, near Milan in Italy, raised the profile of Chesterfield driver Rhys Yates.
Competing in the R5 category, British Rally Championship front-runner Yates took fourth place, missing out on a podum spot by a whisker.
He was invited to take part in the three-day event, which brought together a host of big names from the World Rally Championship, World Motocross and Moto GP, including many of his childhood heroes, such as Valentino Rossi and Antonio Cairoli.
At the wheel of a Brettex Ford Fiesta R5 and complete with a new, celebratory livery for the occasion, Yates was co-driven by five-times world rally champion Denis Giraudet, of France.
He eased his way into the popular event, which incoporated the main Monza circuit and many perimeter and service roads, and ended the first day 29th overall.
But he really made his move on day two, which comprised two stages of 45km and 33km, backed up by two shorter 9km tests. and moved up to 20th.
An ultra-long test on the third day played to Yates’s strengths as he executed his way round the chicanes and artifically narrowed corners to take 18th overall.
“It was an amazing experience and one that I won’t forget in a hurry,” he said. “It really was the stuff dreams are made of. It was a huge honour and I can’t wait to come back next year. It opened my eyes to what is possible with both the car and myself as a driver.”