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Chesterfield rally driver Rhys Yates will make the long trip to Elgin in Scotland this weekend to tackle the McDonald & Munro Speyside Stages (21st April), round two of the ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship.

Fresh from a stunning debut in the FIA European Rally Championship in Azores, taking third ERC Junior Under 28 in March, Yates will contest the one-day gravel event to gain valuable seat time in his Skoda Fabia R5 ahead of the opening round of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship next week in Carlisle. Yates will be co-driven by the returning Alex Lee on the event.

The 25-year old driver will enter his third successive year in the British Championship during 2018 but for the first time, will contest the prestigious series in a different marque. After two years behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta R5, Yates upgraded to a Skoda Fabia R5 for this season and after a brief test in Scandinavia, has settled in perfectly to the new acquisition.

A top result on the European Championship season opener has buoyed the Brettex backed pilot and Yates will head to the north of Scotland this weekend to settle back into the Skoda after almost a month out of the driving seat.

Whilst the event will be treated strictly as a test session, Yates is looking forward to gaining some valuable mileage ahead of the BRC season. He will start the event as number five seed.

“I’ve never rallied in Scotland at all apart from the British Championship rounds and have certainly never been that far north to compete” says Yates.

“I wanted to test before the Carlisle Rally and as CA1 Sport was heading up there with David (Bogie, fellow CA1 Sport team mate) it made sense to go with him and get some mileage under our belt. I don’t have any prior knowledge of the stages so I will be a little green I guess and not being able to use our own notes will be tough, but we will certainly still be doing our best. It’s a popular event in the Scottish Championship and the competition looks good, but the main aim is to get bedded in for next weekend so we will see how it goes.”

The Speyside Stages consists of around 44 stage miles in the forests surrounding Elgin, with a short spectator stage around the asphalt roads of Cooper Park to kick off the event.

Yates is sponsored by Brettex, Michelin Motorsport, Jordan Road Surfacing, Draper Tools, Rallynuts, Rainworth Skoda, Nicky Grist Motorsport, H&F Furniture and Protyre.

Image credit: Josef Petru

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