Chesterfield's Rhys Yates aims for glory in Grampian Stages
The Banchory-based gravel event is a one-day event covering 44 competitive miles including some of Scotland’s most iconic gravel stages.
The Grampian Stages are some of the fastest undulating and spectacular roads on the BRC calendar. It is the first time the Scottish event has been used as a BRC venue in over 30 years meaning this year’s championship contenders head to the event on a level playing field with limited event knowledge.
Last time out in the BRC, Yates felt good in the car on the Nicky Grist stages, claiming fourth position after a day of competitive pace, taking the fight to his rivals who all had a healthy amount of experience and road knowledge.
Most importantly for Yates though, valuable points were scored on a difficult rally that wasn’t without its issues, meaning he maintained his second position in the championship. Having a new event on the calendar opens up new opportunities to make ground in the championship, with Rhys and co-driver James Morgan up to the challenge of a new event.
On Thursday, Yates gained precious testing mileage in his Fiesta Rally2, dialling in his car setup ahead of an intense day of competition in Scotland. Pre-event tests are of paramount importance for one day events like the Grampian Stages, where there is little room to warm up and the key to success is to be setting the pace immediately from the start.
Yates said: “Nicky Grist feels like a long time ago. I had a good test today so feeling happy in the car. I feel like we had good pace on the Nicky Grist just lacking experience in some parts but hopefully up in Scotland it will be a bit more even as everyone has limited knowledge of the stages.
"I just want to concentrate on driving well and pushing on and ideally we can get a good result. It is a long drive up to Scotland so hopefully I don’t struggle with the altitude or any nose bleeds. Anyway, I’m looking forward to getting going and as long as we can be up at the front in the fight I will be happy. “