Richard Sykes Gateshead preview

Second for Sykes suits him fine. Stourbridge rally driver Richard Sykes makes the long journey north to the Scottish borders again next weekend, as he and Chelmsford co-driver Mark Andrews contest the Pirelli National Rally, the second round of...

Second for Sykes suits him fine.

Stourbridge rally driver Richard Sykes makes the long journey north to the Scottish borders again next weekend, as he and Chelmsford co-driver Mark Andrews contest the Pirelli National Rally, the second round of the 2003 Peugeot 206 Super Cup.

The Trade Paints Services backed duo were in fine form in the Kielder forest three weeks ago, leading until the final stage until a small mistake cost them the lead, but guaranteed a healthy haul of points after a consistently quick drive netted second in the 206's.

Buoyed by that performance, Sykes travels to the Gateshead event determined to maintain his consistent points scoring approach at this early stage of the season. The Midlander makes no secret of the fact that he thoroughly enjoys the unique challenges offered by Europe's largest man made forest in the shape of Kielder, and will be the man to watch on April 25/26.

Sykes is no stranger to the Peugeot podium positions in Kielder, having finished 2nd in the category in his Peugeot 106 before. Philosophical as ever, Richard knows that he must try to gain an advantage on the series newcomers as they continue to find their feet in the ultra competitive championship, which boasts a whopping 29 starters for the North East event:

"I've got to make the most of my experience at this stage in the season" said Richard. "The tuition I've received from David Higgins over the winter has given very positive results and I really do feel that I'm driving better than ever at the moment. Combined with Mark's experience and skills in the other seat, its a strong package. Obviously you have to consider the young lads coming into the series who will get quicker as the year progresses, but its important to get as many points on the board as possible at the moment.

We're going to Kielder to do a job. If I win the category, then of course I will be delighted! However, a podium finish and a good helping of championship points are what we are after. The car is in excellent health at the moment thanks to the efforts of Racing Services, and I'm very confident of a good result. We thoroughly enjoyed the stages on the Border Counties Rally recently, so there is no reason why we cannot return to Kielder and achieve a similar result - if not better".

Sykes knows only too well how competitive the championship is. Going into the final stage on the opening round of the series, the Border Counties Rally, the G.I. Sykes Ltd backed driver was just four seconds ahead of Irishman Shaun Gallagher after a full day's rallying. Two minor mistakes in the final stage were enough to drop Richard back to second place by the smallest of margins. Sykes will be keen to reverse the result in Gateshead in 10 days time.

-jemsport-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers David Higgins