Rhys Yates

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Rhys Yates
Personal information
Born (1992-05-06) May 6, 1992 (age 29)
Chesterfield, England
World Rally Championship record
Active years2016-Present
Co-driverJames Morgan
DriverRhys Yates
Rallies11
Championships0
Rally wins0
Podiums0
Stage wins0
Total points52
First rallyWales Rally GB
Last updated on: 16.4.2020.

Rhys Yates (born Chesterfield, May 6, 1992) is a British rally driver currently competing in WRC2 Pro – the second tier of the FIA World Rally Championship – for M-Sport Ford World Rally Team in a Ford Fiesta R5 MkII.

Early career

Brought up in a motorsport environment, Rhys’ father John Yates competed to a British championship-winning level on two wheels. As well as a whole host of race wins, John took the Supersport 400 title in the 1990 Motorcycle News TT Superbike Championship.

Predictably, Rhys’ first taste of motorsport was on two rather than four wheels. Through his teens Rhys rode anything he could get away with, but a 125cc Honda delivered early success. He moved through the youth ranks in Motocross stepping up to the 250cc category in the British Championship.

With his speed recognised early by inclusion in the Red Bull Rookies scheme, Rhys was carving out a motocross career and looking to ape the sort of speed his father John demonstrated on the roads to be Britain’s best in his chosen class. But a change of direction was coming. While reading Business Management at Derby University, Rhys developed glandular fever which kept him off the bikes. John spied an opportunity to put some metal around him and bought a rally car.

Aged 20, Rhys stepped into rallying. Driving a Suzuki Swift at the Alan Healy Memorial stages, he showed early promise by finishing fourth in class. That speed and balance discovered on bikes translated into cars and Rhys soon moved up the ranks, switching to a Ford Fiesta R2 car in 2014.

In his first full season in the sport – and only having entered 17 rallies in his life – Rhys was crowned English Rally Champion in 2015. Towards the end of the year, Rhys took probably the biggest step of his career to date when he swapped his Ford Fiesta R2 for a Fiesta R5. The R2 is a great car to learn the sport; front-wheel drive with around 170bhp, it’s a fairly forgiving machine. The R5 has 280bhp, total traction with four-wheel drive and the ability to hurl you from standstill to 60mph in four seconds. Even on snow and ice..

For 2016, Rhys continued to drive his Brettex Site Services Ford Fiesta R5, but moved up to the British Rally Championship where he was a top-10 challenger on every event. Rhys ended the ’16 on a high with victory on the Rockingham Stages and his World Rally Championship debut at Wales Rally GB.

Through 2017, Rhys built on his success with the Ford Fiesta R5 in the BTRDA and BRC series and embarked on his first European event at the Ypres Rally and finished fifth from the British Rally Championship regulars competing across the Channel. A BRC podium came on the Nicky Grist Stages and helped Rhys to fourth in the season-long standings. Beyond the BRC, Rhys was spreading his wings further and competed in his first overseas WRC event, Rally España, based in Salou and run through the hills of Tarragona. Finishing 11th in class, there would be more world championship action at Wales Rally GB before a season-closing fifth in class at the Monza Rally Show in Italy.

2018 proved to be Rhys’ busiest year so far. Switching from the Fiesta to a Škoda Fabia R5 and building on his previous success, Rhys tackled more rounds of the European Rally Championship (ERC), starting with eighth overall on the mid-Atlantic Azores Rally. He then became the first Briton ever to win Rally van Wervik in Belgium. There was more success in the British Rally Championship with second place on the Pirelli International Rally contributing to another fourth in the series standings. Competition continued in WRC events with Dayinsure Wales Rally GB and Rally España and the season finished on a high with a repeat of the Monza Rally Show this time delivering a second overall in one element of a highly competitive Italian race weekend. Even more impressive, that was Rhys’ debut in a Ford Fiesta RS WRC.

In 2019, Rhys undertook a full WRC2 programme – the second tier of the World Rally Championship – in a Škoda Fabia R5. Despite the step up to world competition, Rhys’ own RYR Team still prepared and ran the car from his Chesterfield base.

At his first-ever Rallye Monte-Carlo, Rhys finished fourth in class and backed that up on his debut at Rally Sweden and the Tour de Corse. Rhys also took part in the Pirelli International Rally, where he finished second. The speed and consistency improved through the season – with a particular highlight coming when Rhys was invited to take part in the Monster Energy’s Gymkhana GRiD. His Hyundai i20 R5 team-mate was six-time Gold Olympic medallist Sir Chris Hoy. Despite a lack of experience of the Hyundai, Rhys qualified third but just missed the semi-final by 42/100ths of a second.

Rhys joined multiple World Rally Championship-winning squad M-Sport Ford World Rally Team for the 2020 season, where he would drive a latest-specification, factory-prepared and run Fiesta R5 MkII. He opened his account with another impressive Rallye Monte-Carlo.[1] result, fourth in class on January’s race through the French Alps to the Principality. Fifth place followed on February’s Rally Sweden.[2], by which time Rhys had already bagged another podium on the BRC season’s opener, the Cambrian Rally.

Then coronavirus came and actual competition ceased. Demonstrating his flexibility and ability to rise to a challenge, Rhys stepped into sim racing, taking on vastly more experienced eGamers to win the World Rally Championship’s Esports WRC Shootout.

Career results

WRC 2
Year Entrant Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
2016 Brettex Site Services Ford Fiesta R5 MON SWE MEX ARG POR ITA POL FIN GER CHN FRA ESP GBR
11
AUS
2017 Gemini Clinic Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5 MON SWE MEX FRA ARG POR ITA POL FIN GER ESP
11
GBR
19
AUS
2018 Brettex Site Services/Toksport WRT Škoda Fabia R5 SWE MEX FRA ARG POR ITA FIN GER TUR GBR
Ret
ESP
13
AUS
2019 RYR Škoda Fabia R5 MON
4
SWE
10
MEX FRA
5
ARG| CHL ITA POR
15
FIN GER
7
TUR GBR
10
ESP AUS
2020 M-Sport Ford WRT Ford Fiesta R5 MKII MON
4
SWE
5
MEX ARG POR ITA KEN FIN NZL TUR GER GBR JPN

* Season still in progress

WRC-2 Pro Results

Year Entrant Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Pos. Points
2020 M-Sport Ford WRT Ford Fiesta R5 MON
4
SWE
5
MEX ARG POR ITA KEN FIN NZ TKY GER GB JAP 6 15

BRC

Year Entrant Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Pos. Points
2016 Brettex Site Services Ford Fiesta R5 MWS
Ret
COI
15
PIR
11
RSC
Ret
NGS
7
ULS
8
IOM
Ret
11 17
2017 Brettex Site Services Ford Fiesta R5 BSCR
5
PIR
6
RSC
Ret
YPR
24
NGS
3
ULS
Ret
IOM
4
4 70
2018 Brettex Site Services Škoda Fabia R5 MMS
3
PIR
2
YPR
Ret
ULS
4
GB
Ret
4 51
2019 RYR Škoda Fabia R5 PIR
2
YPR
Ret
18 9
2020* RYR Ford Fiesta R5 MKII CCR
3
NC 15

In the media

              

References

External links

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