Scottish Rally challenge by Yates is on the rocks

Frustrated Chesterfield driver Rhys Yates had to pull out of the Scottish Rally at the weekend after his car struck a rock.

Tuesday, 23rd May 2017, 12:48 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:39 pm
Chesterfield driver Rhys Yates in action at the Scottish Rally. (PHOTO BY: Race And Rally Photography)

Yates was hoping to make a big impact at Dumfries in what was the third round of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship, especially as he started in fourth place in the overall standings.

But as the weather closed in on the tough opening-night stage in the Greskine Forest complex, fog mixed with torrential rain to leave visibility significantly reduced for the notorious two-day blast. And turning into a fast right-hander, his Brettex Fiesta R5 clipped one of the ragged rocks that littered the forest track, and this broke the steering instantly.

Back at the Lockerbie service-area, the team assessed the car in the early hours of Saturday morning and made the decision to withdraw from the event because of the damage sustained.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“I was really disappointing to end the event like that, but the Scottish Rally was not to be for us,” said Yates. “As well as the steering, we found a coolant leak, so rather than risk the car and further failures later in the event, we made the tough call not to start on Saturday.

“I want to thank everyone for their support, especially the marshals and recovery crews who stayed in the forest with us until gone midnight to make sure we were out safely.”

The next round of the British Championship takes Yates and fellow crews to Belgium for the Ypres Rally at the end of June.