Whether in the virtual world or real-time rallying, Rhys Yates looks to have found the knack of winning.
Mid-lockdown, the Briton took back-to-back esports WRC wins and, when the time came to step back aboard his Ford Fiesta Rally2 MkII at the M-Sport Return to Rally Stages, he was quick enough to show team-mate Adrien Fourmaux the way home to a Rally2 class win in Greystoke.
Now he’s done the Goodwood SpeedWeek double, winning both the rally and the drift element.
The seven-stage event was run on Thursday and Friday last week, before the gymkhana-style drift event at the weekend.
“I didn’t really know what to expect, I knew they would be short and quite tight stages and I knew the competition would be close. So, to come away with seven stage wins from seven and another good victory, I’m really happy with that.
“The stages were tricky, but once we’d had one run, I knew what they were about, and James could just sit there and enjoy the ride. I have to say a big thanks and very well done to Rick [Smith] and his team at the Southern Car Club for running such a mega event.”
Winning every stage, Yates beat former Drive Dmack winner Osian Pryce (Volkwagen Polo R5) by 19 seconds with Ollie Mellors’ Proton Iriz third.
Then came more time on the handbrake and a four-wheel drive drift class win.
Yates added: “These Gymkhana events are always great fun – what’s not to love about drifting a rally car, smokin’ some Michelin tires and doing some big skids. It’s been mega and to come away with a four-wheel drive win was the icing on the cake. Actually, the icing on the cake was all the champagne we won! I’m not much of a connoisseur of champagne, but this looks like the good stuff!
“Like I said, I’m really pleased we came. Winning is great, but the chance to come and support these events which are being run under pretty difficult circumstances is very important. To get some profile and a bit of exposure at a place like this is also massive for me.”
Yates’ exploits were far from the only rally action at Goodwood Speedweek. Stay tuned to DirtFish this week for more – including the story of a very special Peugeot 205 GTi drive and Elfyn Evans trying out a different sort of Toyota