Sunday 22 April 2012

Sykes seeks Pirelli podium to maintain title charge

Rally driver Richard Sykes, from Stourbridge, is aiming for a podium finish on next weekend’s Pirelli Challenge event as he seeks to maintain his lead in the BRC Challenge rally championship.

The Carlisle-based rally is the third round of the championship with Sykes and co-driver Simon Taylor having already taken a first and second place on the opening two rounds.

Since the previous round extensive work has been undertaken on Sykes’ Bathams Brewery, G I Sykes Ltd, Boroughbridge Marina and Silverstone Tyres-supported Citroën C2 R2 Max including an engine rebuild.

"The engine was getting near to the end of its life and was down on power," commented Sykes. "We’ve done a full rebuild on it ready for the Pirelli and we’ve also done a lot of work to lighten the car."

"We’re focused on finishing the event on the podium to get a good haul of championship points and I will drive within myself to get there but if we are in a position to safely push for a win we will do."

"Last time I did the Pirelli I was the leading Citroën driver part way through the event but went off the road trying too hard for the win so I’ve learnt my lesson from that."

 "I am feeling confident and it is great to be able to concentrate on driving and not worry about the bad reliability we have had in the past. We’ve got Simon Hawthorn looking after the car with Martin Billings joining Simon on the events, they are the best guys I have worked with in rallying and their work on the car has meant that so far this year we’ve only had to clean it and change the tyres in service, we’ve had no other problems at all."

Sykes and Taylor will lead the Challenge crews away from the rally start at Kielder Castle on Saturday morning with the crews facing 48 miles of competitive stages in the notoriously tough Kielder forest before the event finishes at Carlisle racecourse.

Image courtesy Jakob Ebrey Motorsport Photography

Monday 9 April 2012

Medich and Begg ready to rock on Granite City rally

The Rally2Raise Nissan Micra will contest its third event next weekend (14th April) when driver Rachel Medich and co-driver Katherine Begg take part in the Coltel Granite City rally.

The event will be the first time Katherine has ever competed but she has had intensive training from Rachel who, up until this year, was usually to be found in the co-driver’s seat.

"As the day draws nearer to my first competitive event the nerves are obviously kicking in but at the same time I’m also very excited to be part of Rally2Raise and all it is setting out to achieve, especially the awareness raising of causes very dear to me personally," said Katherine. "I am normally with a rescue unit at rallies so it is going to be extremely weird being in a rally car rather than sitting in the unit watching, and sometime rescuing, them."

"Rachel has given me loads of tuition so hopefully I will be ok once we get going and I’m sure it will turn out to be very enjoyable."

The organisers of rally, Aberdeen and District Motor Club, have generously donated an entry to the event for the Rally2Raise team and DMACK tyres will support the distinctive yellow and blue Micra on the event along with Clark Motorsport.

Rachel commented: "It was a fantastic offer by the organisers to give the team an entry. The Coltel Granite City rally is my local event and it will be an honour to take part. The support from DMACK is very appreciated also, the Micra’s forest tyres were looking a bit worse for wear after the Saltire Classic rally we did so it will be great to have new rubber for the Granite."

"We have had some really good press coverage locally and getting the car out on the event will help raise even more awareness for the Rally2Raise project and our four supported causes – the Nystagmus Network, the Joanne Bingley Memorial Foundation for post-natal depression, Cancer Research UK and the MS Society."

The rally will be based near Inverurie with around 44 miles of competitive action in the forests of Kincardineshire.

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