Rallying ace Rhys Yates returns to British Championship

Rhys Yates enjoyed his best British Championship result in the Pirelli Rally of 2018. (PHOTO BY: Jakob Ebrey Photography).
Rhys Yates enjoyed his best British Championship result in the Pirelli Rally of 2018. (PHOTO BY: Jakob Ebrey Photography).

A lull in the World Rally Championship calendar allows Chesterfield driver Rhys Yates to return to the British Championship this weekend.

The 26-year-old Skoda Fabia R5 pilot has not contested a round of the British series since October, but will be hopping to shine in the Pirelli International Rally at Carlisle.

Yates will be joined by his regular co-driver, James Morgan, for the one-day gravel event, and he will be looking to build on his superb start to the World Championship season, which sees him occupy sixth spot in the standings, only five points off second.

He said: “It’s been a great start to the season, but we really need to maintain the momentum and must remain match fit for the next round in Portugal at the end of May.

“I had my best British Championship result in the Pirelli Rally last year when finishing second. It was a great result and really boosted my confidence because gravel is not my favourite surface.

“I haven’t been on gravel since October, so it will take some bedding in. But it will be interesting to compare my pace.

“It will be an exciting weekend. I am looking forward to the battle and having some fun without the pressure.”

Eight stages are on offer at the Kielder Forest complex, which is famed for its blind crests and large ditches to catch out the unwary.