Champion Sykes takes on Mull Rally challenge
2012 BRC Challenge champion Richard Sykes will finish his rally season next weekend with the notoriously tough Mull Rally in Scotland.
Sykes completed his BRC Challenge season at the end of last month on the Trackrod Challenge rally. Despite a traumatic first stage in the dark of Dalby forest which saw him lose over 12 minutes to the leaders after first hitting a log and then getting stuck in a ditch Sykes battled back with quick times on the rest of the stages to finish second in class in his Bathams Brewery, G I Sykes Ltd, Boroughbridge Marina and Silverstone Tyres-supported Citroën C2 R2 Max.
“The first stage on the Trackrod was a disaster,” said Sykes. “We were first car on the road and we hit a log that was propping up a direction arrow. The log got wedged under the car and we dragged it down the stage for around four miles. It only got dislodged when we threw the car sideways on a corner.”
“Further on in the stage we went off the road and into a ditch. Fortunately a group of spectators were on hand to extract the car but we lost a lot a time and were right at the back of the leaderboard.”
“I drove as hard as I could for the rest of the event although the exhaust cat had got flattened by the log so the engine was at least 30bhp down on power. I was pleased to still finish runner-up in the class despite our problems although I would’ve liked to end our championship winning season with a another victory.”
After the forests of Yorkshire it is back to tarmac for the Mull Rally, the event being held on the closed public roads of the Isle of Mull. Sykes contested the event in 2010 and did well to finish after an opening stage off. He is hoping for a good result this year.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the 2010 event, the Mull Rally is a huge challenge as most of the competitive mileage is at night. The roads are very narrow and twisty with a lot of jumps to catch out crews. It’s a real achievement to get a finish there and hopefully we will achieve that.”
The Mull Rally starts on Friday night from Tobermory with the crew competing right through to the early hours of Sunday morning.