BRC

Carlisle: Richard Sykes preview

Fiesta time as Stourbridge rallying ace heads north Stourbridge based rally ace Richard Sykes is preparing for a return to the British Rally Championship, a series that sees some of the best drivers in Europe do battle across the British...

Fiesta time as Stourbridge rallying ace heads north

Stourbridge based rally ace Richard Sykes is preparing for a return to the British Rally Championship, a series that sees some of the best drivers in Europe do battle across the British Isles, and this time he has a new factory developed toy.

Partnered as usual by Simon Taylor, Sykes changes stead for the new season and will do battle in the renamed BRC Rally Challenge at the wheel of a GI Sykes backed Ford Fiesta ST. Whilst the car presents an increase in engine size for the pair, the car runs in the production class, which means that it is actually less powerful than his race bred 106 from last year. Developed by M-Sport, the team that over see the Ford World Rally Car project, this nimble little car makes up for a lack of power with superior handling, something Richard is looking forward to.

The 106 used to be a real animal at times, and you were always fighting with the car, trying to keep it on the road. The Fiesta might look and sound like a shopping car but with proper rally suspension and a good base setup the car is actually a lot quicker than you realise, and driven properly can beat a lot of four wheel drive cars. Hopefully the change to a more updated machine will help eliminate some of the bad luck we had last year.

Whilst the Boroughbridge Marina supported pairing may only have won 3 rallies in 2007 the record books will show that they actually led every single round but a host of frustratingly minor mechanical gremlins halted the steamroller on the other events.

Competition in the Rally Challenge is expected to be just as tough in 2008. Consequently Sykes and Taylor anticipate a mammoth battle brewing between themselves and the much quicker Suzuki Swift of Neil Weaver.

The 2008 British Rally Championship 'Rally Challenge' kicks off in Carlisle this weekend, with the Smile Spa Midland and Cambridge Diet supported pair the top registered drivers it is guaranteed to be an action packed day in the infamous Kielder Forest Complex.

-credit: pirelliinternationalrally.co.uk

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About this article
Series BRC
Teams M-Sport