28 July 2006
Q&A: Matthew Wilson - EXCLUSIVE.
by Rob Wilkins
Matthew Wilson was at the 2006 Rallyday on Saturday flying the flag for the Stobart VK Ford World Rally team. Here he speaks exclusively to Crash.net Radio about that event, his year to date and his hopes for the second half of the season...
Matthew, are you enjoying the Rallyday thus far?
Yeah, it is good - obviously, I think the weather has brought a lot of people out [it was still hot and dry at this point - ed] and it is fairly busy. But it should be good and once we can do a few runs in the car at lunch time as well, that will be even more fun. I haven't had a proper look around yet and hopefully I will go and see what is here and have a good walk around. But from what I have seen so far, it does look good.
Have you got anything special planned for the fans when you go out on track?
I don't know. I am going to have to try and find out exactly what I am doing and see what I can do. We will maybe see what everyone else does...
I assume you are allowed to do donuts here?
Yeah I think so - it should be a bit more lenient than in Greece, where a few people got punished for that. It is good days like this where you can be a bit of a hooligan and enjoy yourself and show what the cars can do.
Is it nice to do an event like this, where you don't have to worry about competing and you can mingle with the crowds and speak to all these 'great' journalists?
[laughs] Yeah exactly, like you say, there is no real pressure and you can see all the cars and be with all the people you are with on rallies but it is in a lot more relaxed atmosphere. You are not competing and pushing for stage times or anything. It is good and quite a nice break.
On a more serious note, the summer break is now about to come to an end. Looking back on the first eight events, how do you assess things so far?
Obviously it has had its up's and down's - like any season it is going to have that. I think there have obviously been some high points for me, Argentina and Mexico for example, probably even Greece as well, where although I had the food poisoning, we still came away with quite a good result and got tenth. There have been low points too though, like Sardinia, which was just abysmal. We had problems with the car for two days in Italy and we only got one clean run on the Sunday. There have been some difficult rallies as well, but some enjoyable ones too. Sweden was hard for instant, I am not going to say it wasn't - it was my first time on snow in Sweden, but it was enjoyable - it was really fast and good fun. Overall it's definitely been really mixed, but hopefully in the second half of the year it should be more consistent. We are on gravel on seven of the eight rallies left now and we have got the new car as well, which is going to be really exciting. So there is a lot happening in the second half of the year, which should make it a lot better, I think.
When will you actually use the new car?
We have got it for Japan, Australia and New Zealand - and hopefully GB at the end of the year, if we can get the car back in time from New Zealand, it all depends on the logistics really. But hopefully we will have it for four of the eight events.
How much of a difference will it make, in terms of competitive times and so on?
Click on relevant pic to enlarge
the conversation - Add your comment
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