by Rob Wilkins
Britain's Guy Wilks looks all but certain to be one of the front-runners in the Junior WRC category on next week's Rally GB - but Guy could also take the JWRC title in Wales, assuming the FIA's International Court of Appeal upholds the decision to strip Per-Gunnar Andersson of his Turkish victory.
caught up with Wilks to talk exclusively about his year to date, his thoughts for Rally GB and looking ahead to 2007...
Guy, final round of the season coming up, your home event, what can we expect from you on Rally GB?
What can we expect from me? Good question. It has been a while since Turkey and we are still waiting for the results over my team-mate Per-Gunnar Andersson's exclusion from that event. From a personal point of view I think, after all the bad luck that people have had this year, if the decision is upheld it will leave it more open for a fair fight on the Rally GB - and it would obviously all give us a chance of the championship again.
But that doesn't alter the way we approach the event anyway. We won it in 2004 - that was the last time it was held as a Junior WRC round and our aim will be the same as always on every round, to win.
Obviously you are going to be one of the top home drivers, along with Kris Meeke, Matthew Wilson
and Mark Higgins, to mention just a few, the latter two in WRC cars. How much will that 'home advantage' help you?
Well it is always nice to have home support. They make themselves heard all the time - and it gives you an extra edge. It makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, not necessarily in the stages, although sometimes it does, but you are concentrating so hard when you are driving, but definitely outside of the stages - the support is fantastic.
But as far as actual experience on the event goes, I think there are people in the Junior WRC who have almost as much as experience of it as myself. My team-mate, P-G, he has done it three times and this will be his fourth and my fifth, so I have only got one more year of experience of Wales over him. And there are a few other people with good experience as well. But I think experience pays less and less and I think if you are a good driver you will always shine through. However, with the experience between myself and Phil [Pugh - my co-driver] of the event - and knowing what it takes to win, hopefully that will pay dividends and we will end up winning it.
It must be difficult approaching it, especially as the championship is uncertain, pending that appeal. It keeps it right open doesn't it?
Yeah, it does pending that enquiry and I think there should be a decision by Tuesday. I think the hearing is on Monday and there will be a decision by Tuesday. But it doesn't change the way we approach the event. There will just obviously be more at stake, should the decision be upheld, and then it gives four of us a chance of winning the championship. We will go from there. It is always nice to end the championship on a winning note, whether that be with the title or without, obviously Wales being our home event we are up for it - and we want to win it nevertheless.