Stourbridge rally driver Richard Sykes is hoping his years of experience of the Jim Clark rally will help him take a win in the second round of the BRC Challenge championship. Sykes finished second overall and first in class on last year’s event and he is aiming to go one better this year in his Bathams Brewery, G I Sykes Ltd and Boroughbridge Marina-supported Citroën C2 R2 Max .
After an opening round on gravel forest tracks round two of the championship sees the crews compete on the tough closed public roads of the Scottish Borders and the tight and twisty stages should suit Sykes’ car as it was designed to rally on the tarmac lanes of France.
“The car should be ideal for the type of stages used on the rally, especially stages like Abbey St Bathans which is long, narrow and bumpy,” said Sykes. “Simon Hawthorne has meticulously prepared and converted the car from gravel to tarmac spec and, together with co-driver Simon Taylor and our BF Goodrich tarmac tyres the team is looking very strong.”
“We led the rally overnight two years ago and eventually finished second after a long battle and again finished second last year because of a puncture, so we will be really looking for a win this time. It’s essential for our championship defence that we do well, we have a car advantage on this event with it being designed for tarmac stages and we must make that count, especially with the very tough competition that we’ll be up against.”
“It will be my tenth visit to the event so I have plenty of experience of the stages. Even so, we’ll be putting 100% into our preparation and working very hard on the recce before the rally to make sure our pacenotes are correct. We cannot afford to make any mistakes.”
“We need to capitalise on our tarmac strength and if all goes well It would give us the lead in the championship table after this event which would put us in great shape for the rest of the season.”
The rally starts on Friday evening with a spectator stage in Duns town centre and then the crews will face another 10 stages before finishing on Saturday afternoon.Image courtesy raceandrally.co.uk