Stourbridge rally driver Richard Sykes got his BTRDA Mixed Surface Championship campaign off to a flying start when he finished second in class on the Somerset Stages in his Bathams Brewery, Boroughbridge Marina, G I Sykes and Body Clinic-supported Citroën DS3.
The rally started with two runs on the tarmac of the Porlock Hill toll road near Minehead. Sykes and co-driver Emma Morrison were immediately on the pace, finishing the stages just three seconds behind Callum Black in another DS3.
After the tarmac opening the rally moved onto gravel forest tracks for the remainder of the competition. Sykes was consistently quick and maintained his second in class position throughout the day. He also finished 18th overall out of 166 starters and third two-wheel drive car.
“It’s great to get a good result in the DS3. It’s a new car for this season and it has been a massive learning curve trying to get to grips with it,” said Sykes. “Porlock was the first time I have driven the car on tarmac so I was delighted with our times there. The forest stages went well too, we weren’t far behind Callum even though he has a lot more experience of the DS3 and he’s also got an extra performance kit fitted to his.”
“We used DMack tyres for the first time and they performed very well. We had no issues at all with the car and all in all it was a fantastic event. The BTRDA events don’t have as much mileage as the British Rally Championship ones I’m used to but they are still great fun.”
“There’s plenty more to come from the new car as I learn more about how to set it up and how best to drive it. It’s a completely different car to my previous one so it will take time to reach its full potential.”
The championship switches to a full tarmac event for the next round as crews head to the high-speed roads of the Isle of Man for the Manx National rally.
“The DS3s come into their own on tarmac so the pace is going to be frenetic. It will be very daunting, challenging and frightening but I can’t wait!”
Image courtesy Dave Johnson