by Rob Wilkins

TO HEAR THE INTERVIEW IN FULL WITH JAMES WOZENCROFT - RECORDED AT THE END OF JULY: CLICK HERE

James Wozencroft has put in a strong showing this year in the Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship since making the step up to a four-wheel drive Subaru Impreza N11. Crash.net Radio spoke to the MSA British Rally Elite member at what is effectively the halfway point in the BRC, and got his thoughts ahead of the next round, the Ulster International Rally, which gets underway next week...

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Crash.net:
James, you have had a great year to date, what do you want to achieve on the next event now?

James Wozencroft:
We have had two fourth positions in the BRC on the last two events and so I think we have got to be aiming for a podium. We were getting quite close to David Higgins' pace on some of the stages on the Manx and it would be nice now to get in front of him on some of the tests on the Ulster.

Crash.net:
How tough an event is the Ulster?

JW:
It is a very tough event. It is not that different to the Manx in terms of how difficult it is to finish. But to be honest it has always been the event I have done the best on in the last two years in the British championship. I am really looking forward to it.

Crash.net:
Of course it is the third and final round in the BRC this year on asphalt. Will you miss tarmac?

JW:
I seem to have gone better this year on the tarmac than I thought I would. I am really enjoying competing on asphalt. It is a shame to see it go - but I do love gravel too and it will be great fun to get back into the forests on the Trackrod.

Crash.net:
At the moment you are third in the BRC standings with 39 points, just one less than triple British Rally champion, Mark Higgins. That must be very satisfying?

JW:
It is - and it sounds good to be able to say I have just one point less than Mark Higgins. But we are only just one point in front of Guy Wilks as well. It is going to be a very tough challenge to try and hang onto third. We just need to try and do our best on the Ulster and then see how we fare after that.

Crash.net:
How difficult has it been adjusting to the Subaru Impreza and a four-wheel drive car, because last year of course you were in the little Suzuki Swift?

JW:
It has not been as bad as I thought to be honest. We had quite a few tests before the season started and before the Pirelli. We really got into the car straight away. Okay at times I made some silly little mistakes on the Pirelli, but I quickly adapted. I really love the car now, and I am getting use to it. Geoff Jones Motorsport prepares a fantastic car and we are just having a great run. I can't complain. I am really, really enjoying the car.

Crash.net:
You finished tenth on the Pirelli, on your first outing with the Revolution Wheels Rally Team, and fourth in the BRC on the Jim Clark and on the more recent Rally Isle of Man. All good results - but, which one pleased you most?

JW:
Definitely our form on the Manx - it was a great event for us. The conditions were really difficult, but we probably went better in the difficult conditions than in the dry. It was just great to set those sorts of stage times on such a tough event and to be up against David Higgins and come out of some of the stages less than a second apart from him on his local event was brilliant. I was over-the-moon with it. Also to get the Manx Star Driver award was a great feeling too.

Crash.net:
How are you getting on with the Revolution Wheels Rally Team and your team-mates, Rob Swann and Karl Simmons?

JW:
Great - it is a great team. It is the first year for the Revolution Wheels Rally Team and it is all new. But the other drivers are all really great lads. They have been using Subaru's a long time now and they have really been helping me out and giving me advice. Everybody is really helpful and being with Geoff Jones Motorsport there is a lot of experience to help us all through. It is a strong team and it will get stronger.

Crash.net:
You are the 'third' driver there usually, but at the moment you are beating both of them...

JW:
The team started off the season with Rob and Karl. But unfortunately Karl is out now for a little while and I have taken his place [in the 'second' car nominated to score team points]. We have had some great results and unluckily Rob has had a few problems, a few niggles this year. We are just doing the best we can and getting points for the team.

Crash.net:
Have you got any other plans or are you working on anything else this year in addition to the BRC?

JW:
It is all down to budget and at the moment we are just working on getting through the BRC. The full BRC is not 100 per cent sorted yet. We have still got a bit of work to do for Rally GB anyway. We are just focusing on the British championship and making sure we get through that.

Crash.net:
Have you thought about 2009 yet?

JW:
I am looking to do the British championship again in a four-wheel drive car. This year was - and is all about getting experience. I think in 2009 we should be more on the pace and I want to see what results we can get. At the moment then we are looking at the BRC again in '09, in a four-wheel drive, and we need to sort out exactly how we are going to do it.

Crash.net:
Final question, what are your hopes for the year as a whole?

JW:
It is very difficult to say. As a whole for the championship it would be great to finish third overall for the season. That would be a fantastic result. My own target is, as I said earlier, we have come close to David Higgins on a few stages - but I have never actually beaten him. My personal target on the next few rallies then is to try and do that on a few tests.

TO HEAR THE INTERVIEW IN FULL WITH JAMES WOZENCROFT - RECORDED AT THE END OF JULY: CLICK HERE