Yates to test himself against rallying’s best

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Chesterfield rally driver Rhys Yates warmed up for this weekend’s Renties Ypres Rally in Belgium with an overall victory at Rally Van Wervik — the first British driver to take the top spot in the event’s 42-year history.

He will join World Championship regulars Thierry Neuville and Christian Ole Veiby in Ypres, a Prestone MSA British Rally Championship (BRC) qualifier.

Yates will take his Brettex-backed Skoda Fabia R5 to Ypres as he juggles a European and British Championship campaign.

“Ypres is a totally different ball game to Wervik and the competition will be so much tougher,” he said.

“I have to remain realistic about my chances this time around.

“I am in a good place right now and everything feels great, both in and out of the car, almost to the point where the times we are setting is a very natural process.

“Although there may be a bit more pressure after Wervik, I really do have to go at my own pace .”

Yates and co-driver Elliott Edmondson have enjoyed a successful start to the season, despite Yates having to acclimatise to the new-for-2018 Skoda Fabia R5. Impressive results in the ERC round in the Azores and a runner up-position at the opening round of the BRC on gravel were complemented by a solid result at the Antibes Côte d’Azur Rally.