Sykes had been due to compete in the Rally North Wales Challenge rally last weekend but heavy snow and ice both on the course and surrounding roads forced the organisers to cancel the event. With the next BRC Challenge still three weeks away Sykes has decided to enter the Somerset Stages to give himself some time in the car as he has not competed since last October.
“We need to blow the cobwebs away really,” said Sykes. “Unfortunately the weather prevented us from doing that last weekend so hopefully the Somerset Stages will be a good shakedown for the car and the driver. It was very disappointing that the Rally North Wales was cancelled after all the hard work and preparation to get the car ready but full credit to the organisers for taking the decision, the conditions were awful and there was no chance of the stages being accessed.”
“I’m really looking forward to getting back into the forests, our aim is to drive tidily and work on the set up of the car ahead of the Pirelli rally. There’s only two weeks between the events so we will not be pushing hard as we don’t want to risk damaging the car. There’s no pressure for championship points on this event so we’ll simply be looking to getting some valuable forest mileage.”
“As well as the forests the rally features two runs of a challenging tarmac stage up the Porlock toll road which I’m really looking forward to. Our usual service crew aren’t available for this event so David Newbold, who used to run Paul Wedgebury’s Evo and Peugeot Challenge cars has stepped in. We hope not to give him too much work to do.”
The Somerset Stages is based in Minehead and the crews will do battle in the surrounding forests as well as the Porlock toll road.