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Rally ace Sykes unhurt after car plunges off cliff
12:30pm Thursday 18th October 2012 in Sport
THIS is the dramatic scene just moments after Stourbridge rally ace Richard Sykes’ season ended in horrifying fashion when his car plunged off a cliff.
Sykes’ Citroen CR2 fell 25 feet before crashing into rocks midway through stage seven of last weekend’s Mull Rally.
The Stourbridge man and co-driver Simon Taylor were unhurt after the crash, which happened when Sykes misjudged a fast right-hand bend in wet conditions on the stage around Gribun, though the same could not be said for the car.
Sykes said: “We were ok although shook up as the impact was a big one and the car is pretty badly damaged on the front.
“I made a minor misjudgement on Gribun but you don’t get away with minor misjudgements on Mull as the roads are so narrow.
The car left the road and smashed down on to the rocks. The rally organisers had to stop the stage to find where we were as we were so far off the road that other crews couldn’t see us.
“It’s going to take a fair bit of work to repair but we will be all ready for next season and we’ll be pushing as hard as ever whatever events we decide to do.”
It was a disappointing end to an otherwise excellent season for Sykes, who was crowned BRC Challenge champion.
The one-off Mull Rally, where stages take place at night, is notoriously tough and Sykes endured the worst possible start when he lost three minutes on the opening stage following a puncture.
Gradually things improved and he was setting top 15 times before the abrupt finish.
Sykes added: “It was very disappointing to crash out but the attrition rate on Mull is always around 50% so a finish there is always worth treasuring.”