Chesterfield rallying ace Rhys Yates toughs it out in German challenge

Rhys Yates, who continues to impress in his first season in the World Rallying Championship (WRC 2).
Rhys Yates, who continues to impress in his first season in the World Rallying Championship (WRC 2).

One of the toughest rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) held no fears for Chesterfield driver Rhys Yates, who continued his terrific debut season.

Rallye Deutschland combines military roads designed to test American tanks, technical tracks through the toweringly steep Mosel vineyards and fast and furious German country lanes.

But the 27-year-old Yates, and his co-driver, James Morgan, faced down the challenge brilliantly, He traded times with the likes of Nikolay Gryazin, the Russian driver who is favourite to be crowned champion, and picked up valuable points to lift him to seventh in the WRC 2 standings.

Yates said: “This was a toughie, and a real challenge, so to leave with points and real progress in terms of speed is a great result for me and the team.

“It was a Tarmac rally, which I know a bit about. But I didn’t appreciate just how tricky it would be. It has been a steep learning curve.”

The rally covered more than 213 miles in 19 stages across Germany’s Saarland region. It was the longest Yates had ever contested, but he built on his fine performances in four previous rounds of the championship in this, his rookie campaign, at Monte Carlo, Sweden, Corsica and Portugal.

The infamous Panzerplatte stages in the region’s military ranges provided some of the liveliest action.

Yates now moves on to the penultimate rally of the season in Wales over the weekend of October 3 to 6.