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yates-07Brettex Site Services backed rally ace Rhys Yates will make the trip across the Irish Sea this week to tackle the final round of the MSA British Rally Championship, Rally Isle of Man.  After six hard fought rounds across the British Isles the Chesterfield driver has impressed onlookers in his inaugural year in the series and will look to beat his season best result of sixth on the closed public Manx roads during the three day event.

Despite approaching the 2016 season as a ‘learning year’ Yates and co-driver Tom Woodburn have showed a consistent turn of speed in their Fiesta R5 EVO on all events in the championship, knocking on the door of a top five result on several rounds this year.

The duo’s performance on last month’s Ulster Rally was rewarded with the Philip White Young Achievers Award and their eighth overall result in Northern Ireland should bode well for the Manx lanes this week.

Rally Isle of Man is dubbed one of the biggest challenges in the rallying calendar, offering 20 stages and over 160 competitive miles across the small island nestled in the Irish Sea. The event consists of closed public roads which include large main roads, coupled with narrow country lanes. Their bumpy and twisty nature is renowned for catching out even the most experienced of driver. If that wasn’t enough to contend with, the event kicks off on Thursday afternoon with stages that will run well into the darkness that evening.

But Yates is relishing the challenge ahead and is hoping to round the season off in style on the island.

“I’ve been really encouraged by our noticeable increase in pace towards the end of the year and I’m hoping that will continue on the final round” says Yates.

“I’ve never competed there but I have heard a lot about the event so we will have to work hard to make sure our pace notes are spot on. It’s probably more important there than on any other rally so we can’t afford any lapse in concentrations this week. If we have a clean run, I think we can look towards the top five as a realistic goal”.

Yates is also conscience that the event offers a double points scoring opportunity across the three legs of the rally and is looking to end the season a little further up the leader board.

“I’m not sure we will be using any tactics to make the most of the double header, but it would be nice to think we can nudge into sixth or seventh place. It’s a long rally and we can’t take anything for granted so we will go out there and do our very best”.

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

Image courtesy of Jakob Ebrey Photography

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