MSA British Rally Championship
||Border Counties Rally
||10 -11 March
||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: 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
PRESS RELEASE: 9th July 2017
Yates proves pace with first BRC podium
British Rally Championship contender Rhys Yates
takes third overall and best ever result at last weekend’s
Nicky Grist Stages.
only his second season in the series, Chesterfield rally
driver Rhys Yates scored his first ever Prestone MSA British
Rally Championship podium with third overall at last weekend’s
Nicky Grist Stages in Wales (8th/9th July).
Competing against some of the best rally drivers in the
business, Yates and co-driver Alex Lee battled over two
gruelling days of flat-out driving across the forests
and closed roads of Epynt Military Ranges in the heart
Piloting his Brettex Ford Fiesta R5, Yates put in a mature
drive over the closing stages of the event to take his
first rostrum in the series and further strengthen his
place in the championship. His result means he now lies
fifth overall and within sight of a top-three championship
position over the closing stages of the season.
Just a fortnight after securing fifth BRC contender home
at the Ypres Rally in Belgium, Yates was eager to take
his form to Wales at the weekend. The event provided one
of the toughest challenges of the season with the opening
leg consisting of 44 miles of gravel tests in the forests
of Halfway and Crychan, followed by over 70 miles of military
asphalt roads on day two.
Yates stamped his intentions on the time sheets from
the off, setting fourth fastest time over the opening
Monument test and as he acclimatised back to the gravel,
Yates found a comfortable pace over the super-fast stages.
With the only issues being a spurious warning light and
low hanging dust which hampered all the leading crews,
Yates would take no risks to end the leg in a solid sixth
Historically, Yates has always shown a good turn of pace
on asphalt and the second day of the event would offer
him the chance to shine. However, the Epynt ranges have
a worldwide reputation for biting back, with many top
drivers getting caught out by the blind crests and undulating
The opening stage of the day would be the longest at
over 10 miles and Yates made an impact from the off, making
up one place to fifth. As the leaders fell by the wayside
Yates found himself in third spot and as the stages progressed,
so did his confidence. He pushed the Michelin-shod Fiesta
to several top four stage times during the morning’s
The gap to fourth was a slender one however and he would
need to be at the top of his game to stay ahead of the
more experienced crews behind him. As the stages passed
by Yates held his ground and despite the pressure, pushed
the Brettex Fiesta to its limit to cross the finish line
of the final test in an impressive third overall, by almost
A jubilant Yates and co-driver Lee returned to the Builth
Wells ceremonial finish to spray the champagne in front
of the waiting crowds.
“It’s been a fantastic battle all rally long
with some of the best guys in Europe, so to come away
with my first ever podium result in a tough event like
this is such a buzz,” says Yates. “It feels
like a win to me”.
“You know, when you think I started the season
we were looking at how many minutes away we were from
some of these guys and now it’s down to seconds
and tenths of a second, it shows how my pace has progressed
this year. We set some great times and it gives us a nice
little confidence boost for the next rounds. All credit
to the team for a faultless car and of course Alex who
jumped right in this weekend. It’s been a perfect
With a break of over five weeks, the Championship returns
in August for the Ulster Rally in Northern Ireland where
the series continues on asphalt for the final two rounds.
Yates is backed in 2017 by Michelin, Protyre, Kick Motorsport,
Simpson, Zenith Racing, Prestone, Draper Tools, Jordan
Road Surfacing and NGK Spark Plugs.
Image credits: Jakob Ebrey Photography
PRESS RELEASE: 18th March 2017
Rhys Yates secures fifth spot and first Englishman
home at British Rally Championship opener, the Border
rally star Rhys Yates stamped his authority firmly on
the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship (BRC) leader
board last weekend as he took his Ford Fiesta R5 to fifth
place at the Brick and Steel Border Counties Rally.
In only his second season in the series, Yates triumphed
over many more experienced competitors and his top five
result meant he was also the first English driver home
in the ultra-competitive BRC field. In a weekend where
the Brettex Site Services backed ace was never outside
the top ten, Yates is well on course to better his tenth
place finish position in last year’s BRC standings.
One of the strongest BRC entries for many years headed
to the market town of Jedburgh in the Borders for the
opening round of the season which would offer two tough
days of action in the south of Scotland forests. Heavy
rain descended on the region for the ceremonial start
under the shadow of Jedburgh Abbey and the two stages
on Friday night would prove to be a tough start to the
season for many.
But Yates and co-driver Carl Williamson took the inclement
weather in their stride and opened proceedings with a
solid eighth fastest time on the opening night time test.
With a repeat of the Craik stage to follow, the Michelin
shod Fiesta held firm in the mud strewn stage and sixth
fastest through the second run meant Yates ended the opening
leg in a firm sixth overall.
The rain and mist would not subside for day two of the
event and Yates elected to play safe through the first
of the morning’s stages. Later admitting he was
perhaps a little too cautious in the second and third
stages of the day, he dropped to eighth spot as the daylight
offered the chance to make up valuable time.
But as confidence grew, the times began to tumble and
Yates began to string together several top six times during
the mid-afternoon loop and in turn, began to move up the
leader board. A mature run over the afternoon stages saw
him hunt down the positions in front, climbing from eighth
to fifth over the closing stages, crossing the ceremonial
finish back in Jedburgh with his best ever result in the
“We really could not have kicked off our BRC campaign
any better than that” said Yates at the finish.
“The whole weekend was perfect from start to finish
and we had no problems with the car whatsoever which is
a real credit to the team. Carl and I worked really well
in the car and he gave me the confidence to push on where
we could and as my confidence grew, you can see the times
started to come down”.
Being first Englishman home was also a fitting reward
for the 23 year old. “If you look at the names on
the results, they have all been rallying for many years.
This is only my second year in the championship and I
have a lot to learn but I know that there is much more
to come too. This result gives us a great start to our
BRC campaign so we just need to keep this up on the next
round in Cumbria”.
The second round of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship
takes place in Carlisle on the 29th/30th April.
Yates is backed by Michelin, Protyre, Kick Motorsport,
Simpson, Zenith Racing, Prestone, Draper Tools, Jordan
Road Surfacing, PIAA and NGK Spark Plugs