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2019 WRC Calendar - See
1 Rallye Monte-Carlo 24 - 27 Jan 19
2 Rally Sweden 14 - 17 Feb 19
3 Rally Mexico 07 - 10 Mar 19
4 Tour de Corse 28 - 31 Mar 19
5 Rally Argentina 25 - 28 Apr 19
5. Rally Portugal 30 May - 2 Jun 19
6. Rally Italia Sardinia 13 - 16 Jun 19
8 Rally Finland 01 - 04 Aug 19
9 Rally Deutschland 22 - 25 Aug 19
10 Rally Turkey 12 - 15 Sep 19
11 Wales Rally GB 03 - 06 Oct 19
12 Rally de España - Catalunya 24 - 27 Oct 19
13 Rally Australia 14 - 178 Nov 19



PRESS RELEASE: October 6, 2019

Tough test for Chesterfield’s world rally star Rhys Yates

After competing on some of the world’s toughest rallies in his rookie WRC 2 season, last week’s Wales Rally GB turned into something of a bittersweet experience for Chesterfield driver Rhys Yates.

Rhys and co-driver James Morgan switched from their usual RYR ŠKODA Fabia R5 to tackle Britain’s biggest motorsport event in a Hyundai i20 R5.

The plan made a lot of sense: the Llandudno-based event is one Rhys knows well, having competed there three times previously and testing new metal in familiar surroundings would offer valuable insight for next season’s programme.

Unfortunately one of the season’s most complicated rallies turned out to be just that for Rhys, with punctures and other issues costing valuable time.

“Before we go into the details of the event,” Rhys said. “I want to talk about what an absolute awesome rally this one is. Rally GB has to be one of the best events in the world.

“When you’re coming into these corners, completely sideways and looking out of the side window, it’s the most magical feeling. The conditions have been a challenge and the rally itself has been really hard work – but that’s what it’s all about when you come to Rally GB.

“And this one really has been a tough one for us. All year we’ve stuck to the plan, taken the experience and learned the rallies. And all the time we’ve had an eye on Rally GB. I know we came here with a different car, so it wasn’t going to be straightforward, but I’ve got to be honest and say I really don’t get a lot of luck on this event.

“We’ve had a few things, just some niggles here and there and they’ve made for a pretty complicated event. Don’t get me wrong, when the car’s been on song it’s been great and we’ve really enjoyed ourselves.

“Now we’ll go home, scrub ourselves down and start working on the next one.”

Despite his issues, Rhys still managed to deliver a top-10 result in another WRC 2 point-scoring drive.

The RYR team focus now shifts south to Spain for the Salou-based Rally de España (October 24-27).






PRESS RELEASE: September 29, 2019

Hyundai power for Rhys’ Wales Rally GB bid

British driver Rhys Yates will make his first World Rally Championship start aboard a Hyundai i20 R5 at Wales Rally GB (October 3-6).

Rhys has switched from his regular ŠKODA Fabia R5 in search of broader experience of R5 machinery competing in WRC2. The Chesterfield star made his debut aboard a Hyundai at last week’s Gymkhana GRiD event in Poland.

Rhys said: “We’ve spent the last two years in the ŠKODA and there’s no denying it’s a top, top car. Obviously there’s an evolution of the Fabia R5 and we’re looking at that for the future, but there are also a number of other really competitive R5 cars around and I wanted to have a look at them.”

Rhys tested the Hyundai i20 R5 at Sweet Lamb earlier in the summer and admitted he felt at home immediately.

“The car felt really good,” he said. “It had been a while since I’d changed cars, so I expected it to take a few runs to understand how things were working, but almost straight away I got it and really enjoyed the car.

“OK, there are a few small things, a few of the buttons and things like that, that I’ve got to get used to, but being in Poland for [Gymkhana] GRiD last week helped. I certainly got used to where the handbrake is!

“I was keen to make the switch for Wales – it’s an event I know quite well and I’m pretty much at home in the conditions, so it should make the move from car to car slightly more straightforward. On so many of these other World Rally Championship events this year, I’ve been learning the rally, so I could do without having to learn a new car as well.”







PRESS RELEASE: March 31, 2019

Yates continues World Rally Championship form in Corsica

Chesterfield rally driver Rhys Yates proved his pace in the World Rally Championship this season has been no fluke, by securing an impressive fifth overall in the WRC2 category at a challenging Tour de Corse (28-31 March).

Driving his Brettex Skoda Fabia R5, Yates and co-driver James Morgan battled against some of the quickest young drivers in the feeder series to the WRC, setting a string of inspiring stage times on their way to yet another top result. Added to a career-best fourth at Rallye Monte Carlo and tenth at Rally Sweden, Yates is sixth in the WRC2 championship and just five points away from second spot.

The 26-year-old would head to the Mediterranean island for the very first time and would have yet another challenge to overcome on his debut WRC campaign. Steeped in history, the Corsican roads are famed for their super-fast asphalt roads with a ragged rock face on one side and a sheer drop into the sea on the other.

Over 345 kilometres of competitive driving was in store over three days with long, arduous stages making tyre choice and conservation critical, highlighting its place as one of the hardest on the WRC calendar.

Day one would offer one of the toughest starts to a rally with six special stages and over 121 kilometres during the day. Although not the longest of the event, no service was permitted during the tests aside from a remote tyre zone, so it would be essential to make it to the end of the leg without any issues.

Yates would need to bed his way into the unique roads and tenth quickest on the opening test was a positive start. However, there was more to come and his day was littered with impressive stage times ensuring he would climb to eighth overall at the end of the day.

It would be always tough to beat the French Tarmac drivers at home, but Yates kept his cool over the longest leg of the event which housed 175 kilometres on day two. The whopping 47-kilometre Castagniccia test would be the longest Yates had driven in his career, enduring flat out driving for a staggering 32 minutes.

He set a time good enough for eighth on that test and by the end of the day, he climbed to sixth spot with just two stages remaining on Sunday.

A clean run through the two tests including the televised Power Stage saw Yates grab fifth and a haul of valuable points for his WRC2 campaign.

“I thought Rallye Monte Carlo was a difficult event but this has just taken it to another level,” said Yates.

“Everything about this rally has been difficult and it’s been very hard to adapt to the roads here. It requires a big commitment on the fast stuff and inch-perfect precision on the technical sections, it’s very unforgiving. But I`ve loved every second of driving here”
He was delighted with his pace during the weekend and believes that the event will help him as the season progresses.

“I’m so very pleased with the result to be honest. If you said we would have been fifth last week I would have taken that there and then. There are some very experienced asphalt drivers here so to have come to the rally for the first time and take a result like that is very pleasing.

The season is long, and I need to keep bagging these results event by event and get the points on the board. We are not really taking any risks either so there is more to come, but for now sixth in the WRC2 championship is an amazing achievement in my first year.”

Yates will now contest the first event in the UK in 2019 as he makes a guest appearance at the Pirelli International Rally in Carlisle at the end of April.


PRESS RELEASE: Feb 17, 2019

Success in Sweden for British rally ace Yates

Chesterfield rally driver Rhys Yates ensured his impressive debut season in the FIA World Rally Championship continues, with a top ten WRC2 position at last weekend’s Rally Sweden (14th – 17th February).
Yates and returning co-driver James Morgan set a string of blistering stage times throughout the weekend despite Yates making his snow rally debut. He guided his Brettex Skoda Fabia R5 to tenth place in the WRC2 category which means he heads to round three in sixth place, just five points shy of a top three position.
It has been a dream start to the 26-year-old’s career in the World Rally Championship, taking fourth place on his maiden outing at the legendary Rallye Monte Carlo in January. Despite the unpredictable conditions on the stages in the south of France, Yates returned a mature drive to set his stall out early for his 2019 campaign.

However, the tightly packed ice and snow-laden stages of Rally Sweden would offer a new challenge and aside from a short test in Scandinavia ahead of his British Rally Championship campaign in 2017, Yates would be contesting a full “snow” event for the very first time.

After a brief test on the Monday morning, the Englishman would be thrown straight into the deep end on Thursday night with a super special stage for the fans in Karlstad. Stopping the clocks fifth fastest, Yates was shocked with his time.

“I’m pleasantly surprised with how the first stage has gone and our shakedown time was good as well,” he said. “But it’s nowhere near what the stages will be like for the rest of the weekend”.

The challenge came throughout the following three days with over 315km and 19 special stages of high-speed driving ahead. Whilst the temperatures were low, there was some unseasonably warm weather in store, which turned the traditionally thick ice-packed stages into gravel, meaning the stud-equipped Pirelli tyres would struggle to find grip on the surface.

Eager to ensure more points for his WRC2 campaign, Yates elected to manage the risks and only push when the surface allowed. His approach worked over the opening day, ending the leg in 12th



PRESS RELEASE: Jan 27, 2019

Yates enjoys career-best result at legendary Rallye Monte Carlo

British rally driver Rhys Yates drove “one of the best events of his life” to finish fourth in the WRC2 category at the momentous Rallye Monte Carlo last week, kick-starting his 2019 World Rally Championship campaign (24th – 27th January).
Known as one of the most difficult events in the World Rally Championship calendar, “Monte’s” reputation is etched in the history books for claiming some of the best drivers in the sport. But despite making his debut on the daunting event, Yates drove with maturity and speed beyond his years, enjoying a trouble-free run and bring his Brettex backed Skoda Fabia R5 home just shy of the WRC2 podium.

Launching his season’s plans at the Autosport International Show just a few weeks ago, Yates has made the leap from a British Rally Championship campaign and selected European outings, into the World Rally Championship WRC2 category for aspiring young drivers this season and all are aiming for the top rung of the WRC ladder.

Contesting events Spain, Portugal, Finland and Germany, the Chesterfield driver will endure the biggest challenge of his career this year and his season would begin in Gap in the South East corner of France on Thursday night.

Famed for its unpredictable conditions, the opening leg of Rallye Monte Carlo did not disappoint with ice, snow and sub-zero temperatures greeting Yates in the mountains near Selonnet.

Yates had recruited the experienced Denis Giraudet to co-drive after previous outings together at the Monza Rally Show, and the duo would need to ensure they made it the first two stages of the event under the cover of darkness.

Understandably, Yates was cautious through the opener, electing to use the 20-kilometre test to bed into his new surroundings. The second stage would allow Yates to find his feet, tiptoeing through the tricky conditions to the end the leg in seventh spot.

Day two was the longest of the event with 125km of flat out driving awaiting the 100 or so crews on the rally. Tyre choice has always been a gamble on the rally, compromising between snow tyres, ice or dry asphalt tyres. Yates made the perfect start to the event on the opening loop of stages on Friday, taking his first top-three stage time of the season and by the end of the day, he had made it into fifth.

Despite the sunshine on the stages, patches of black ice and snow still lay in the shaded valleys, making the stages as notorious as ever. Yates elected to be cautious with his approach to Saturday’s leg and his tactics paid off. A second top three time on the final stage of the day ensured he held onto fifth going into the final day in Monte Carlo.

Just four stages remained for the final day of the event and Yates would need to draw on all his experience to make it through unscathed. He duly delivered, taking fourth WRC2, a stunning 14th overall and his best WRC finish to date.

Yates was overjoyed at his result as he crossed the finish ramp in the iconic backdrop of Monte Carlo harbour.

“This moment is exactly why I love competing in this sport,” he said on the ramp.

“You mention the Monte Carlo Rally to anyone and they immediately connect with you and here I am over the finish ramp, taking fourth place on my WRC2 championship debut. It really doesn’t get much better than that”.

Yates has been working hard to prepare for a full season in the WRC and despite only making the decision to compete late last year, feels his result was a long time coming.

“I think I can safely say I’ve driven one of the best events of my life this week. Everything just came together both in and out of the car. I have a great team around me, and I could really concentrate on the event. Monte is the kind of the rally that punishes you if you take your eye off the ball. But I`ve built myself up to this point and this pace and I know there is more to come. It was a trouble-free run too. We stayed out of trouble and were consistent to the end and that’s how I want to play this year.

To compete on Monte for the first time and come away with fourth, well that’s just mega.”

Yates now only has a few days to spare as the car is brought back to the UK for re-preparation before heading out to round two of the series, Rally Sweden in the middle of February.