Monday, 8 September 2014

Sykes ready for rally championship showdown on Isle of Man

Stourbridge’s Richard Sykes will finish his British Rally Championship (BRC) Challenge season later this week when he contests Rally Isle of Man in his Bathams Brewery and G I Sykes Ltd-backed Citroën C2 R200 with co-driver Emma Morrison.

Sykes will be trying to win back the championship he won in 2012, having finished as the runner up last year. He holds a four point lead in the title race but with the Manx event counting as two separate rounds, with extra points available for the last round, the championship is still all to play for.

“It’s difficult to know how to play it,” said Sykes. “Do we go steady and aim to survive the 75 miles of stages in the first round, thereby making sure we take part in the second or do we go flat out from the start and aim to win them both. One thing is for sure and that is that two finishes are more important than the wins as, the way the points are, I really have to score on both rounds.”

“It’s been four years since I competed on the Isle of Man so I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a very challenging event, the roads are tight and twisty and the weather usually throws everything at us with very changeable conditions. It can go from brilliant sunshine to rain and mist in a few minutes. It’s certainly a huge test of crew and car.”

“I am hoping that, whatever the result, we will get to have a great fight and enjoy some good sport as the championship has been a little flat this year with the incidents that have happened. It would be good to end on a positive note.”

“Our car is looking good and, with previous round being stopped after a few miles, we have been able to concentrate on making sure the fine details are right so the car is ready for 166 tough stage miles.”

The rally starts on Thursday night with four stages in the dark including a very popular spectator stage which runs along Douglas promenade. The action continues through Friday before the event finishes at the TT Grandstand on Saturday afternoon.

Image courtesy