STOURBRIDGE rally ace Richard Sykes heads into this weekend’s Ulster Rally well-placed in the BRC Challenge Championship.

Sykes is second in the standings ahead of his favourite event on the calendar, which takes place around closed roads in County Antrim.

The double-header consists of two seperate Challenge rounds, the first starting on tomorrow afternoon and running into the night and the second lasting all day on Saturday.

Sykes said: “The closed public roads around Antrim are some of the most technical, tight and twisty and amazingly fast roads in the UK. “They demand respect and bravery and carrying speed is the key to setting good times.

“Ulster is definitely my favourite tarmac event in the championship and the infamous Tors Head is the rollercoaster stage of British rallying.

“I am in a very healthy second place in the championship and it’s a great position from wish to push for the win. “It is absolutely imperative to score on both the Ulster events though. “We will still be flat out on tomorrow but we need to be as mechanically sympathetic as possible to keep the car in a good condition for Saturday.

“The weather could play a big part in the rally so we’re putting a great deal of thought into the tyre strategy.”

The first Challenge event will run over 43 stage miles with the second being fought over 37 miles.