Rhys Yates joins M-Sport for a full-season campaign in WRC2 this year and will experience his second season in WRC2 by stepping-up from amateur to pro class.
Rallye Monte Carlo, the season-opener with snow-filled roads, icy surfaces where you need to have your tongue in right place and narrow twisty tarmac roads on the mountain passes is where Yates will be competing with the factory car from M-Sport Ford Fiesta R5 MKII.
Yates finished fourth overall in his class last year on his Monte Carlo debut, the Chesterfield star is looking to get better results this year with the support of M-Sport.
“That first big slide really focuses the mind on what you’re really there for!” Yates said.
“All of that promotional stuff was for last week. It’s funny, you sit on the centre stage at Autosport International and talk about driving with M-Sport and everything that means and it’s all great. But then we went to France for our pre-event test, where we were given the most amazing car and a road completely covered in ice.
“This year is a massive opportunity for me and, of course, I want to make the absolute best of it. But at the same time, this is only the second time I’ve started Rallye Monte-Carlo – an event where experience is everything.
“I start this rally with my sights set on the finish. I’m sure there will be some sections where I can push on, places where I’ll feel more comfortable and we’ll have a good go there. These are the target areas we use to monitor our progress in terms of progression in performance.”
“We’ve moved up a class this year, last year we were in the amateur class and now we’ve moved up to the prosection. We’re just one step down from the top flight of the world championship – there’s no denying the competition’s going to be tougher this year. It’s going to be hard, but we have to take on the best to improve ourselves.
“Monte’s a massive journey into the unknown. We’ve got no idea of what’s coming in terms of the weather, the conditions or the grip. Every corner’s going to be an adventure. Let’s see what happens.”