Peugeot 206 Super Cup front runner Richard Sykes is all revved up and ready to go for the Scottish Rally next weekend, as he bids to get his championship campaign back on track after a fraught Pirelli National Rally. The Stourbridge man is ...
Peugeot 206 Super Cup front runner Richard Sykes is all revved up and ready to go for the Scottish Rally next weekend, as he bids to get his championship campaign back on track after a fraught Pirelli National Rally.
The Stourbridge man is desperate to do well on the double header next weekend, as the Peugeot competitors have two rallies in two days within the main event in which to claim the valuable championship points on offer. Sykes also continues his partnership with Chelmsford co-driver Mark Andrews for the Dumfries based event, after an eventful Pirelli Rally.
The Trade Paints Services backed driver suffered badly in the blinding fog that descended on the Kielder forest during the Friday evening, causing him to go off the road twice, the second time resulting in retirement. The Saturday leg counted for separate points, and Sykes battled with an ill handling Peugeot 206 all day to record 8th place by the end, after a courageous effort.
The challenges of the Scottish Rally are quite different to those of Kielder Forest, and Sykes will be looking to improve on 5th overall on the 2001 event, his best finish north of the border to date. The fast flowing stages demand the ultimate in concentration, although Sykes himself feels that the two day sprint format favours the younger drivers in the series:
"The young lads have more bottle than me on the really fast stuff I think! I know that I'm better suited to the longer events where I can pace myself a little bit more. The one day sprint style events really produce competitive battles though. I know its going to be really hard work in Scotland but my target is to get two consistent points finishes, with at least one podium spot.
Mark and myself are working very well together inside the car, and the Patterson supplied pace notes work very well for us as well. There's no doubt that the likes of Chris Moore, Shaun Gallagher, Juan Roca and co will be on the pace again, so we'll certainly be ready to give it our best shot as well at the weekend."
Sykes has recently had a complete break from rallying and is looking forward to getting back into the swing of things in Scotland. After rolling the 206 testing the day before the Pirelli Rally, Sykes will not shake the car down until he arrives in Scotland on Friday afternoon, with the G.I. Sykes Ltd Peugeot now restored to full health and full working order after a tough outing on the Gateshead event.
The Scottish Rally begins on Saturday morning from Dumfries, with no less than 26 other identical Peugeot's lining up to do battle with Sykes and Andrews. The stages are all to the west of Dumfries with the first 206 heading through at around 10.30am. Service for both Saturday and Sunday is at Baldoon airfield to the south of Wigtown.