Rhys Yates will contest nine rounds of this year’s WRC2 in his Brettex-supported Skoda Fabia R5.

The 26-year old Chesterfield driver’s first event will be this weekend’s Monte Carlo Rally, where he’ll be co-driven by the vastly experienced Denis Giraudet. From then on, Yates will be partnered by James Morgan.

“There is no question that this will be toughest ever season of my career, but as a driver I feel I am ready to prove that I have what it takes to compete at this level,” says Yates.

“We have secured a fantastic team to support our journey as well. Nick Navas will join us as engineer, ensuring we get the data and set up information right from the off. Denis Giraudet will co-drive in Monte Carlo and his experience is unrivalled on the event, which will be a huge asset. James Morgan will then join me from Sweden and we work well together too. It looks very positive this season.”

“There will be so much to learn in such a short space of time, but sometimes you just have to get stuck in and experience it all. We have something like four days at home between Monte and Rally Sweden, so it will be non-stop for us, but it will certainly keep everything fresh in my mind from one event to the next.”

With the WRC2 category split into a ‘Pro’ and ‘Am’ category, Yates is aiming for podium finishes in the WRC2 privateer section.

“It was extremely tough to compete with the factory teams in WRC last season as their testing budget and infrastructure for one event was probably more than ours for the entire year. The new WRC2 has made it a much more realistic proposition this season and we will be aiming to be on the podium if we can.

“It’s going to be tough, the WRC is a hard as it gets, but I`m as ready as I’ll ever be for whatever the year throws at me and I can’t wait to get going.”

Rhys Yates wears a STILO WRC DES CARBON PIUMA helmet and a bespoke P1 Advanced Racewear race suit – while his mechanics wear P1 suits – all supplied by Nicky Grist Motorsports.