Sykes and co-driver Simon Taylor were in second place on April’s Pirelli rally in their Bathams Brewery, G I Sykes Ltd, Boroughbridge Marina and Silverstone Tyres-supported Citroën C2 R2 Max, ideally placed to challenge for a win. However, an electrical fault meant the car was unable to complete one of the stages resulting in a retirement and no points for the championship battle.
After three rounds on gravel the Jim Clark rally will see the championship crews battle on closed public roads in and around Duns. Sykes had a good result on last year’s event and, with tarmac being his preferred surface, he is looking for a win to get his title challenge back on track.
“The Pirelli was a huge disappointment after all the work we did to prepare the car,” said Sykes. “We’ve put that behind us now though and we are all set to go flat out for the win on the Jim Clark.”
“The tarmac suspension has been completely overhauled and the car is set up the same as last year as we were very happy with how it performed. We’ll do the shakedown stage on Friday to get both us and the car settled and then we’re aiming to be on the pace right from the start.”
“I think we can win the event, we have the speed, experience and team to do so. There’s no doubt that our main rivals are very quick but tarmac is my preferred surface and I think the work we did fine-tuning the car on last year’s event will pay-off this year.”
“The championship allows us to drop a score so we’re still in a great position to take the title but a good result at the weekend is absolutely vital. Hopefully the current good weather will continue as dry conditions are preferable but we’re ready for rain too.”
The rally starts on Friday evening with a short spectator stage around Duns town centre. The crews will then have a full day of competition on Saturday.
Image courtesy Jakob Ebrey Motorsport Photography