Sunday, 22 April 2012
Sykes seeks Pirelli podium to maintain title charge
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