Monday, 4 July 2016

Sykes set for rally return on Nicky Grist Stages

Stourbridge rally driver Richard Sykes will start his first event of 2016 next weekend when he contests the Nicky Grist Stages in Wales in his Bathams Breweries, G I Sykes Ltd and Body Clinic-supported Citroen DS3 R3. 

Sykes has been out of action since Wales Rally GB last year, a shoulder injury suffered while snowboarding in January curtailing his 2016 rally plans. However, following an operation, he’s now fit to return to the driving seat. 

“I went snowboarding to celebrate my 50th birthday,” said Sykes. “Unfortunately I damaged my shoulder and had to have an operation in February. It’s been very frustrating as I thought I’d be fit again within six weeks but it’s taken exactly as long as the surgeon said. I’d hoped to be competing in March and April but I had to pull a few entries as I just wasn’t fit to drive.” 

Sykes’ last event ended in retirement at the end of the penultimate stage when the car drowned out in a flood after the stage finish. 

“The car has needed extensive repairs as we did damage to both the engine and gearbox on Wales Rally GB. We did some testing last week though and both car and driver performed well, we made a few tweaks to the car and we’re now all set for the Nicky Grist Stages.” 

“The rally is one of my favourites in the BTRDA championship as it has very fast and flowing gravel stages. We were second 2WD “Silver Star” finisher last year so we’ll be pushing hard to try and go one better this year.” 

“Janice Moore will be in the co-driving seat, we’ve done three events together before and she is a very capable co-driver.” 

The rally starts from Builth Wells on Saturday morning with the crews battling over 45 miles of forest stages in the Llandovery area.