20 July 2006
JWRC: Q&A: Guy Wilks - EXCLUSIVE.
by Rob Wilkins
Suzuki's Guy Wilks has supplemented his programme in the FIA Junior World Rally Championship with two events in the Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship thus far this season. Here he talks exclusively to Crash.net Radio about his events in both the Junior WRC and the BRC, as well as giving his thoughts on the decisions made by the World Motor Sport Council on July 5 with regard to the 2007 WRC calendar and lots, lots more...
Guy, your last event in the FIA Junior WRC was in Sardinia [in May] and you were looking good for the victory until the end when you had a problem with the oil pipe. Have you got over that now?
Yeah it is one of those things. You can't drag things like that on with you otherwise you get on a bit of a downward slope in terms of your psychological approach to the whole championship and the next rally. Obviously it was a big headache at the time and a big pill to swallow but we had to do it. We knew the rally was ours and we knew we had done everything right - it was a perfect rally. But unfortunately, as you say, the oil pipe came loose and, well, it cost us the result, simple as that. I think we have got over it. We have had a bit of time to do a couple of rallies in the UK, well one more rally in the UK and had a good result. We know we are on top of our form - so onwards and upwards now.
We will come to the BRC in more detail in a moment - but your next event in the JWRC is in Finland. How do you expect to do there?
We are looking forward to Finland. We have always gone really well there. It is one of our favourite events, if not our favourite event, in terms of myself and Phil [Pugh – my co-driver]. We are massively looking forward to it and obviously we will be hoping for a good result. We should have good preparation for it. We are going to the Isle of Man just a couple of weeks beforehand [to do the BRC event there]. It is obviously tarmac but it is still good to be able to get in a car and compete before we go to Finland. Finland has massive jumps and very high speed stages and it suits the front-wheel drive cars exceptionally well. We are hoping for a good result and we are going there for the win.
We are in the midst of the long summer break in the WRC now, have you had any tests with Suzuki for your remaining events in the JWRC, which of course in addition to Finland, will include Turkey and GB?
No unfortunately not. We haven't done any testing with the Swift, which is not ideal. But at the same time it has been well documented Suzuki and the team is working on other things. It would be nice from my point of view to do some testing, but that doesn't seem to be foremost on the list at the moment. But hopefully we will be able to get a little bit of time in the car. There is nothing definite inked in the diary but there is a test pencilled it and hopefully that will come off.
You have also competed in two rounds of the BRC to date, most recently taking the S1600 win on the Jim Clark Rally. Have you enjoyed that diversion from the JWRC?
Yeah, it has been great because there is a massive break in the World Rally Championship now, as you said, and it has been good to keep our match fitness there. You get very bored if you are not doing it and it is what we thrive on and what we wait for. So we have competed in a couple of British Championship rounds and they have gone very well. The opposition is quite stiff. Roman Kresta is there, he was obviously a Ford works driver last year in a World Rally Car and times wise, both on the Pirelli and the Jim Clark, we have beaten him comprehensively in older machinery. He is in the latest Fiesta, which has a whole new set of homologations on it and it looks to be a better car than it first was and we have got the old Ignis. So we are very pleased with our pace in the British Championship.
How much will that help you in your battle for honours in the JWRC?
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