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Sykes gunning for Mull glory
7:00pm Thursday 11th October 2012 in Local Sport
STOURBRIDGE rally ace Richard Sykes is hoping to finish his season in style at the Mull Rally.
Sykes heads back onto tarmac for the event on closed public roads around the Isle of Mull off the coast of Scotland - a rally he first contested in 2010.
Starting from Tobermory tomorrow night, crews compete through to the early hours of Sunday morning.
Sykes, the BRC Challenge Champion, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the 2010 event, the Mull Rally is a huge challenge as most of the competitive mileage is at night.
“The roads are very narrow and twisty with a lot of jumps to catch out crews. It’s a real achievement to get a finish there and hopefully we will do that.”
Sykes completed his Challenge season at the end of last month on the Trackrod Challenge rally.
Despite a traumatic first stage in the dark of Dalby forest which saw him lose over 12 minutes to the leaders after first hitting a log and then getting stuck in a ditch Sykes battled back with quick times on the rest of the stages to finish second in class.
He said: “The first stage on the Trackrod was a disaster.
“We were first car on the road and we hit a log that was propping up a direction arrow. The log got wedged under the car and we dragged it down the stage for around four miles. It only got dislodged when we threw the car sideways on a corner.
“Further on in the stage we went off the road and into a ditch. Fortunately a group of spectators were on hand to extract the car but we lost a lot a time and were right at the back of the leaderboard.
“I drove as hard as I could for the rest of the event although the exhaust cat had got flattened by the log so the engine was at least 30bhp down on power.
“I was pleased to still finish runner-up in the class despite our problems although I would’ve liked to end our championship winning season with a another victory.”