STOURBRIDGE rally driver Richard Sykes is aiming to build his lead in the British Rally Championship (BRC) Challenge title race this weekend after taking victory in the opening round in Cumbria.
Sykes has never won the BRC Challenge on the Jim Clark although he has finished second three times and third once. He was leading the event last year until he lost a lot of time following an accident.
Since the first round, further work has been undertaken on the Bathams Brewery and G.I.Sykes Ltd-supported Citroën C2 R2 Max to improve the new engine that was fitted at the start of the season.
“The new engine performed well on the Pirelli but it wasn’t quite right so we’ve done some more development work on it ahead of the Jim Clark,” said Sykes. “ It often rains on the event so we’re thinking of setting the car up for wet conditions. Simon Hawthorne has done his usual excellent job of preparing the car.”
“A win would be great next weekend but the first priority is to get a good finish and a decent haul of championship points. We led the event last year but were caught out on a downhill corner and the car went through a hedge and into a field. There weren’t enough stage miles left to fight back into a good position.”
“The stages on the Jim Clark are on closed public roads and they include Abbey St Bathans, which is my favourite rally stage – it has 16 miles of twisty tarmac with plenty of places to catch crews out, it’s a real challenge to get right.”
“Emma Morrison will once again be in the co-driver’s seat and we’ll also have Martyn Billing’s expertise on the event which will give us a great chance.”
The event starts on Friday evening and it continues on Saturday with the crews tacking over 110 miles of high-speed competitive stages.