Sykes seeking Tempestuous finale! Stourbridge rally driver Richard Sykes is seeking a fitting end to his final rally with the Peugeot 206 Super Cup series this weekend, after retirements on the last two rounds of the competitive one make rally...
Sykes seeking Tempestuous finale!
Stourbridge rally driver Richard Sykes is seeking a fitting end to his final rally with the Peugeot 206 Super Cup series this weekend, after retirements on the last two rounds of the competitive one make rally championship. Sykes will take his Trade Paints Services backed Peugeot 206 to the Tempest Rally in Aldershot for the final round of the 2003 series.
After a hitting a wall on the Ulster Rally, and rolling the G.I. Sykes Ltd backed machine out of the recent Trackrod Rally in Yorkshire, Sykes admitted to being at his lowest ebb since his rallying career began. After making the decision to repair the Peugeot in time for the Tempest, Richard has renewed determination to finish the season on a high after an up and down year in the world's fastest one make rally championship.
The high point of the season was 2nd on the Border Counties Rally in Kielder, as Sykes got off to flyer on the opening round. A mixed bag of results kept the plucky Midlander in the title race through the mid season, but a spate of unfortunate retirements have now dropped the former Autograsser to 8th in the championship standings. Co-driven all season by experienced Chelmsford co-driver Mark Andrews, Sykes is keen to salvage another good result from the last of four seasons within the Peugeot Super Cup:
"I started with the 106, and I kept with the championship when Peugeot changed to the 206. There is no one make championship on this planet that offers the same kind of competitiveness as the Peugeot series - its just a fantastic place to be. I've decided that it wouldn't be right to end the four years on a low, with two recent retirements.
A lot of work was required to get the car back to the condition it should be in, and I'm really looking forward to the Tempest now. I'm not going there to win, as I'd like to keep the car straight if I can! I'm going there to be positive and get the best result that I can, hopefully mixing it with the other quick lads in the process. It should be a really good event, and I hope it will be a fitting end to my part in the series over the last four years."
Retirement is not on the cards for Sykes however. A brand new Peugeot 106 1400cc car is being built at the moment, and Sykes will be contesting the BTRDA Formula 1400 National Rally Championship next season. The championship is open to all cars with engines up to 1400cc, and Sykes is making the switch after the organisers moved from maps to route notes for next year. Richard has enjoyed his outings on BTRDA events before and is building 'the ultimate' car for the series. The 106 will run in Peugeot 106 Super Cup specification, but with a different engine and a highly tuned Peugeot engine. Richard is very much looking forward to the switch:
"I've been keeping an eye on the series all this year, and it does look very competitive at the sharp end. Chris Fuller at Racing Services is putting together a Peugeot 106 for us, and it looks like being a very impressive car. We've looked at all areas on the Peugeot to try and get it just right for the championship and hopefully we should be able to fight for the lead in the series next year. Ian Evans and co. certainly know how to drive so I'm under no illusions that it will be an easy championship.
I'm probably not the only one moving over to the series either, so it could end up being a very hard championship to win. I'm hoping to get the new car out before the end of the year, possibly Grizedale Stages and then the Red Kite Rally. Both are very useful events to do as their stages make up part of two BTRDA events, The Malcolm Wilson Rally and the Quinton Stages."
The BTRDA F1400 series kicks off in the Forest of Dean next year, on the Wyedean Rally. Held on February 14th and based in Chepstow, the rally uses the classis Dean stages like Mailscot, Speech House and Swallow Vallets. Sykes was comfortably leading the A6 Class on this years Wyedean Rally before a timing error dropped him back down the leaderboard after an impressive performance.