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Rhys Yates ScottishBrettex Site Services backed rally driver Rhys Yates made the trip to Scotland last weekend to contest round four of the MSA British Rally Championship, but failed to finish the Dumfries event after ending his rally in one of the events vast ditches.  Taking a brand new Evolution version of the Fiesta R5 to the event, Yates was just settling into the new machine when he slid off the forest road and into retirement.

After climbing inside the top ten of the BRC standings at the Carlisle Rally in April, the Michelin backed ace would head to the RSAC Scottish Rally in a bid to add to his impressive tally in only his first year behind the wheel of a four wheel drive machine.  Acquiring a newer version of the Brettex Fiesta would be a welcome boost for the Chesterfield pilot, giving away valuable horsepower to his rivals during the first half of the season and a successful pre-event test was a welcome addition to his Scottish Rally plans.

Partnered by regular co-driver Tom Woodburn, Yates was understandably cautious through the opening test of the 60 mile event. This would be the first time he has encountered the rough nature of the south west Scottish stages and a sizeable impact on the new Fiesta saw him loose the power assisted steering on stage two and the considerable time loss saw him languishing down in 25th overall after the first loop of stages.  The Brettex team effected repairs in service and the fully operational Fiesta headed out for the next trio of stages.

Yates soon showed signs of settling into the new steed and began his climb up the leader board with a time just outside of the top ten on the third test. Despite a slow puncture in the rock strewn fourth test, Yates was back in control and crept inside the top 20 going into the second half of the event.  But his rally would end dramatically on the fifth stage as the Fiesta left the road and into instant retirement.

“I just misjudged a fast right hander on stage five and we left the road on the outside of the bend” said a disappointed Yates.  “There was no way we were getting it back out of the ditch and our rally ended there and then.  It’s a real shame as I was just starting to settle into the new car but the stages were tough out there today.  I know we have the pace, but this was always a learning year and this is certainly all part of that process. We will come back stronger on the next round for sure”.

The Brettex team face a race against time to ready the car for the fifth round of the series, The Nicky Grist Stages which takes place on the 9th and 10th July. The two day event is unique in the calendar thanks to its mixed surface nature. Day one takes place in the forests around the Builth Wells rally base, with day two tackling the super-fast asphalt military roads of Epynt.

Yates is supported by Brettex Site Services, Michelin, NGK Spark Plugs, MSL Motorsport and Simpson.

Image courtesy of Jakob Ebrey Photography

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