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RhysYates_InActionBrettex Ford Fiesta R5 pilot Rhys Yates will contest this weekend’s Cambrian Rally in a bid to acquire additional seat time ahead of his 2016 MSA British Rally Championship (BRC) assault.  The Chesterfield rally ace will use the first round of the BTRDA rally series to gain valuable experience in the four wheel drive machine to ensure he is `match fit` ahead of the opening round of the BRC, The Mid Wales Stages in March.

The 23 year old has recently secured the backing of French tyre manufacturer Michelin and is looking to better his 2015 result on the event which saw the debut of the M-Sport Fiesta back in October.  From a start number of 54, Yates climbed the leader board throughout the day and finished a respectable 11th overall on his first event in the car despite having to adapt to four wheel drive and a turbocharger for the first time. Once again he will be co-driven by Tom Woodburn and the duo are looking to gain much more than seat time from the one-off BTRDA outing.

“It’s really the perfect event to kick off our season as we have some knowledge of the stages from last year, so it will be good to get a feel of how we have progressed” says Yates.  “It was a really steep learning curve to jump straight into the car but now we have a few more test miles under our belt we can start to knuckle down and look at where we can gain some time.  We will be on the new Michelin tyres for the first time too and that will be interesting to see how they feel and what changes to set up we will need. I’m sure it will be muddy so it’s perfect testing for the opening BRC round which is just a hundred miles south in Newtown”.

Yates has just confirmed this week that the number one spark plug manufacturer NGK Spark Plugs UK will also be backing the team throughout 2016, providing technical and product support. They will join Simpson Race Products who will also be a key member throughout the attack on the British Rally Championship.  “Its an honour to have such a list of prestigious brands backing me this year and I’ve grown up with the likes of Michelin, NGK and Simpson” says Yates.  “The British Championship looks like it will have a lot of talented drivers in the series so we need to give ourselves the best possible chance to ‘hit the ground running’ at it were and be at a decent pace from the first round. That said, I need to be realistic so the aim is most definitely build on our speed throughout the year and that all starts with this weekend.”

The Cambrian Rally is based in Llandudno, North Wales and takes in the forests surrounding the seaside town on Saturday 13th February.

Yates is supported by Brettex Site Services, Michelin, NGK and Simpson.

Image courtesy of Nigel Pratt.

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