MSA British Rally Championship
||Pirelli International Rally
|| 28 - 29 April
||Renties Ypres Rally
|| 22 - 23 June
||17 - 18 August
||Rally Isle of Man
|| 13 - 15 Spetember
||Wales Rally GB
||4 - 7 October
PRESS RELEASE: 29th April 2018
Yates storms to second overall at British Championship
Chesterfield rally driver Rhys Yates kicked off his Prestone
MSA British Rally Championship (BRC) campaign in emphatic
style by taking second overall and his best ever result
in the series at the Pirelli International Rally.
Driving his Brettex backed Skoda Fabia R5, Yates enjoyed
a “dream start to the season” to set fastest
time on the final two stages of the event in Carlisle,
snatching second place and beating a multiple British
champion in the process.
His result surpasses his third place at the Nicky Grist
Stages in 2017 and puts him into his strongest ever position
as the BRC season begins to gather pace.
The 25 year old would head to the Carlisle based event
to begin only his third season in the British Championship
and for the first time, would contest the series in a
new car. Yates has campaigned a Ford Fiesta R5 for the
last two seasons but has made the switch to a Skoda for
The transition has been a successful one and with a closed
season testing programme and podium place at a warm up
event in Scotland last week, Yates would begin his BRC
assault with confidence.
The eight-stage event would take place entirely in the
notorious Kielder forest complex with over 80 competitive
stage miles ahead of the 60 crews. Its blind crests, car
eating ditches and high speed sections are all well documented,
having claimed many champions in the past and having respect
for the stages would be essential to nett any kind of
A healthy British Championship contingent headed out
into the stages on Saturday morning all eager to take
first blood on the opening round of the season.
Rhys Yates - in action
Yates and co-driver Elliott Edmondson set their stall
out early with third fastest over the eight mile Pundershaw
opening stage, but only 0.2 secs down on second spot.
Proving that his pace was no fluke, Yates was second quickest
in stage two to sit second overall behind four-time BRC
champ Keith Cronin.
Thanks to the fast and flowing nature of the forest,
chicanes would make up the significant architecture of
the special tests and on the longest of the event; Yates
would lose valuable time with a spin on a tight junction
on the 15 mile stage.
With almost 20 seconds lost to the leader, Yates would
drop back to third overall at the half way point of the
event but was still pleased with the marked progress on
his 2017 pace. A brief service halt allowed time to re-coup
and a fresh approach for the afternoon loop soon saw the
return to his earlier turn of speed.
Yates headed into the final test of the event two seconds
behind Cronin and would need to have the best stage of
his life to overhaul the Hyundai driver. Yates didn’t
disappoint, stopping the clocks not only three seconds
faster than Cronin, but quickest overall to take his first
BRC stage win and best ever result.
“This really does feel like a win” said an
elated Yates at the finish podium.
“I really would have taken third place this morning,
actually I think I would have taken fourth to be fair
so to come away from the first round of the British Championship
in second place is fantastic. That final stage win was
really important for me as well and to do it under pressure
makes it even sweeter. I knew the gap to second was just
three seconds or so and I just thought; we need to keep
pushing here and it just worked out. It’s been a
perfect weekend and a dream start to the season”.
Yates now heads to the South of France in mid-May for
a one off entry in the second round of the French Championship.
This is valuable experience for the next round of the
British Championship in Belgium, competing on some of
the fastest and flowing stages based in Monte Carlo.
The series now moves onto asphalt in May, where crews
will head to the closed road Ypres Rally in Belgium and
Yates believes he remains in a strong position.
“This car is awesome on tarmac and I probably rate
myself slightly better on that surface too so hopefully
we can keep building on today’s result and keep
the momentum going forward throughout the season. “
PRESS RELEASE: 24th April 2018
Yates stuns in Scotland ahead of BRC campaign
Yates made the best possible start to his Prestone MSA
British Rally Championship preparations last weekend,
taking third overall at the Speyside Stages (21st April)
in Elgin, round two of the ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally
The Chesterfield star will embark on his third season
in the BRC this week as the championship kicks off at
the Pirelli International Rally, but would head to the
North East of Scotland in a bid to gain additional seat
time in the Brettex backed Skoda Fabia R5. His efforts
were rewarded with a podium spot against tough competition
in the 100 strong field.
Run by the Carlisle based CA1 outfit, Yates and co-driver
Alex Lee would ensure they would head to the British Championship
in the best possible form, by tackling the Scottish event
at the weekend, proving further still their intentions
for a strong BRC campaign.
Despite being the 25 year old’s first trip to the
event and having to rely on the organisers provided route
notes, Yates would set his stall out early on and a joint
fastest time over the second test in Cooper Park highlighted
his intentions from the off.
Never straying outside of the top three positions on
each of the 10 stages in the rally, he reached the Elgin
finish podium to spray the champagne in fine style and
would head to Carlisle this week in a buoyant mood.
“I’ve really enjoyed the event today and
it’s been the perfect way to kick-start our BRC
season in the Skoda” said Yates at the finish celebrations.
“We had nothing to prove by coming here aside from
getting extra miles under our belts and it was a very
relaxed rally. The stages are great and the pace up here
is pretty intense so we couldn’t afford to back
off too much. But we are right where we want to be and
I’m really excited about the prospect of the BRC
season getting underway”.
His third season in the British Championship could arguably
be his best chance yet of bettering his fourth overall
in the championship in 2017 as his knowledge of the events
and additional experience plays a valuable part.
“I really feel I`m ready for this year” he
says, “more than I ever have been and everything
has come together perfectly. It’s great to have
the help and support of the CA1 Sport team, their experience
is incredibly valuable and having Alex back in the car
is great for consistency. There are many competitors out
there with more experience than me and I do have to remind
myself I’ve only been rallying a four wheel drive
for three years now, but the encouraging thing is that
my pace never stops improving and that’s a path
I want to continue throughout the year”.
His BRC campaign will be boosted by selected overseas
outings which Yates believes will help his domestic assault
“You can never have too much seat time but competing
abroad on events I’ve never done before ads an extra
dimension to my driving style. I have never wanted to
stand still in the sport and I’ll admit I’m
learning all the time, so heading into Europe is important
for me to develop my skills and keep shaving tenths off
here and there. Those all add up and I`ll be looking to
make sure we start the BRC off in the best possible way
PRESS RELEASE: 7th February 2018
Yates expands rally campaign for 2018
After recently acquiring a brand new Skoda Fabia R5 from
Skoda Motorsport, Chesterfield rally driver Rhys Yates
will embark on a busy season as he announces his plans
for British, European and World Rally Championship outings
The 25-year-old driver had a successful season behind
the wheel of an M-Sport Ford Fiesta R5 in 2017, finishing
fourth overall in the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship
(BRC) and enjoyed outings in Spain, Wales Rally GB and
the invite-only Monza Rally Show. Yates will now kick
off his packed year with a pre-season test in Sweden to
get acclimatised to his new surroundings this weekend
After using the Malcolm Wilson Rally as a warm-up, his
season will formally start with the opening round of the
British Championship, the Border Counties Rally in March
which takes place in the forests of the South of Scotland
and Kielder. For the season opener, Yates will be run
by the Cumbrian team CA1 sport, who ran former BRC Champion
David Bogie and front runner Fredrik Ahlin.
Yates will then contest the remaining rounds of the British
series, complemented by outings in both the World Rally
Championship and European Rally Championship to continue
to build his experience of overseas events.
“Throughout my rallying career and even when I
was contesting the British Moto X championship, I have
always wanted to be as progressive as possible and learn
as I go, so I really wanted to take everything one step
at a time,” says Yates.
“We did things the right way by starting in a Suzuki
Swift, then an R2 Fiesta before moving up to four-wheel-drive
but I feel the time is right to chase down a title and
I think the British Championship could be in reach this
year. We have the right car, right team and Alex (Lee)
is back in the co-drivers seat this season so I will have
the confidence to push, where perhaps I was cautious last
year. It will be interesting to see what the pace is like
on the Border Counties”.
Yates will also look to expand his outings on European
events after a successful run in Rally Spain and the Monza
Rally Sprint in 2017.
“Being abroad in high profile, overseas events
was great last season I really want to head back out there
and see what we can do. We will do Wales Rally GB again
as its part of the British Championship this season and
Spain was one of the best events I’ve done so we
will be going back there. But I want to try some ERC rounds
too as the R5 competition it mega on those events so it
will give us a great benchmark to measure against during