Chesterfield is a place more usually associated with crooked spires than the World Rally Championship – or at least that was the case until Rhys Yates introduced England’s 227th most populous town to his Ford Fiesta Rally2 last month.
Keen to ease the frustration of coronavirus-enforced lockdown and desperate to be back behind the wheel of his Fiesta, the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team driver went for a drive.
While out for a drive, he needed a coffee. Chesterfield, like most places, has a McDonald’s.
What followed was a drive-thru with a difference.
“It was a lot of fun making the video,” Yates told DirtFish. “We’ve been doing some more behind the scenes-style films for my social channels and then though it would be cool to take the rally car out of its normal environment and take it to Macca’s [McDonald’s]!
“Getting the coffee was actually quite complicated. My brother James had to order and pay for it in front of me, then I had to lean across the co-driver’s seat to actually get it. The McDonald’s people were brilliant – they really got into it.”
The film starts with Yates leaving his drive, going through the town and across to a test at Blyton airfield.
Leaving the drive was quite special. Especially for the neighbors.
“I thought about telling them what I was doing,” said Yates, “but then I thought I’d be better just getting on with it. I knew we only had one shot at it, I couldn’t come back for another go.”
And that’s how a Ford Fiesta Rally2 was fired off the line outside Yates’ Chesterfield home for the first – and last – time ever.
“I’ve got a very cool number 11 drawn on the drive right now,” he laughed.
“The neighbors were all fine about it. Or at least they said they were…”
And Chesterfield’s 104,000 people?
“They seemed to like it,” he said. “We got some strange looks, but generally people thought it was mega.”
No longer is the Derbyshire town most famous for what stands above the Church of St Mary and All Saints. It’s now famous for a cool launch and a cup of coffee.