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Chesterfield rally driver Rhys Yates will head to the second round of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship (BRC) this weekend in a bid to build on his impressive fifth spot at the opening round of the season.

The Brettex Site Services backed ace took his best ever BRC result at the Brick and Steel Border Counties Rally in March and will now look to the Pirelli International Rally to increase his healthy position in the championship.

In only his second season in the series, Yates triumphed over many more experienced competitors in the Scottish Borders last time out. With the honour of being first Englishman in the rankings, he brought his Michelin shod Fiesta R5 home unmarked in what was another closely fought British Championship event.

With co-driver Carl Williamson alongside, the duo were never outside of the top ten all weekend long and Yates soon settled into the tricky conditions to post some impressive times during the event.  Finishing tenth in the series in 2016, Yates has already made an impression on the leader board and will be fighting to better his opening round fifth place.

The event takes place in the notorious Kielder forest complex which has claimed many experienced drivers over the years.  Large ditches and unsighted crests can catch out all but the best crews and almost 100 miles of competitive action lie in wait for the BRC contenders, spread across two days.

The 23 year old has been looking forward to the challenge that the Kielder forests brings.

“The stages there are legendary and I really enjoyed myself on that event last year” says Yates.

“I finished just outside the top ten back then though so of course we want to be knocking on the door of the top five this time out if I’m honest. We have the right car and the right team around us so it’s all about building the pace up gradually this season, but that is certainly where we want to be.”

Yates sights the pre-event recce as one of the most important factors of the weekend.

“It’s great to have Carl alongside as he has some great experience of the forests up there and Friday’s reconnaissance will be a pivotal part of the event. Getting our notes right will be crucial to getting that extra tenth of a second here and there so we have been making sure that is spot on in the down time between events.”

The Pirelli International Rally takes place on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th April and is based in Carlisle.

Yates is backed in 2017 by Michelin, Protyre, Kick Motorsport, Simpson, Zenith Racing, Prestone, Draper Tools, Jordan Road Surfacing and NGK Spark Plugs. Yates is also supported by a number of local businesses.

Image credit: Eddie Kelly Photography

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