WRC »

JWRC: Q&A: Guy Wilks - EXCLUSIVE.

by Russell Atkins

Guy Wilks saw his hopes of claiming the Junior World Rally Championship crown go up in smoke on last weekend's Wales Rally GB, but the 25-year-old remains pleased with the form he has shown this year and confident for the future.

One of Britain's most promising up-and-coming young rally stars over the past few campaigns, Wilks and co-driver Phil Pugh have led nearly every JWRC round this year, and repeated that performance in the last meeting on home turf only for mechanical gremlins to intervene and destroy their title dreams. Here the Durham ace looks back over both the event and his season in general.

Q:
Your Wales Rally GB was eventful to say the least, wasn't it?

Guy Wilks:
It wasn't exactly what we had hoped for. It was definitely full of ups and downs. We started very well on Friday's first stage with the fastest time and were there or thereabouts on the second, but then the rear screen smashed and we were dragging a lot of exhaust fumes into the car which made it difficult to concentrate. Then on the third we had a puncture which we had to stop and change, and that cost us two-and-a-half minutes.

That made it a very difficult day, but we managed to get back up from sixth to second which we were pretty pleased with. We knew that would be good enough, and when Kris (Meeke) went out on stage eight that put us into the lead. Then on stage nine we had a smell of oil and smoke coming in the car with two kilometres to go, and the differential packed up about a kilometre further down the road. That meant we had to go with Superally. It was very frustrating.

Q:
Obviously you went into the weekend a strong contender for the championship. How confident were you, especially with it being your home event?

GW:
We had more of an outside chance than anything else. We needed things to go our way and knew we had to win the event. After we had the puncture on stage three we then just had to get back up as high as we could, and we did that by the end of the first day. We approach every event the same – when we get to the start we always aim to win it. It was just unfortunate the diff let go and that was it.

Q:
How frustrating was that?

GW:
Massively. You can't really put into context how frustrating it was. We've been in the Junior World Rally Championship for four years now, and three years in a row have been fighting for the title. To be on home soil and have it almost in our hands only for it to then disappear again is not a nice thing to have happen, but onwards and upwards.

Q:
Looking back over the year as a whole, are you more encouraged by your showing or disappointed about the lack of results?

GW:
Both. We've got to be encouraged – we led five out of the six rallies and won two of them. We were on course to win a third in Sardinia when the oil pipe let go, and we could have won another one here. That would have been four wins in a year which is pretty rare now. It's just one of those things though – we've had a few mechanical failures but the pace has always been there which is the main thing.

Q:
What would you say are your highlights and low points from the year?

GW:
The highlight was definitely winning in Finland, and the low point after the third stage on Saturday here. I thought it was just a small problem, because there had been oil leaking from the gearbox back at the start. I thought we would be able to get back to service quite easily. The championship has been up and down for us all year. We thought things were going to work out for us here, but as it transpired they didn't.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Guy Wilks (GBR) Suzuki Swift S1600 [JWRC] World Rally Championship, Rally of Turkey, 12-14/10/06, Turkey.
Guy Wilks
Guy Wilks / Phil Pugh - Suzuki Swift S1600
21.05.2017 - 1st place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team, 2nd place Thierry Neuville (BEL)-Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport and 3rd place Dani Sordo (ESP)-Marc Marti (ESP),Hyundai i2 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
21.05.2017 - Fabio Andolfi (ITA) Manuel Fenoli (ITA) HYUNDAI i20 R5, ACI TEAM ITALIA
21.05.2017 - HIROKI ARAI (JPN) - GLENN MACNEALL (AUS) FORD FIESTA R5, TOMMI MÄKINEN RACING
21.05.2017 - HIROKI ARAI (JPN) - GLENN MACNEALL (AUS) FORD FIESTA R5, TOMMI MÄKINEN RACING
21.05.2017 - TEEMU SUNINEN (FIN) - MIKKO MARKKULA (FIN) FORD FIESTA R5, M-SPORT WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - Pontus Tidemand (SWE)-Jonas Andersson (SWE) Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport
21.05.2017 - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) SKODA FABIA R5, SKODA MOTORSPORT
21.05.2017 - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) SKODA FABIA R5, SKODA MOTORSPORT
21.05.2017 - JEAN-MICHEL RAOUX (FRA) - THOMAS ESCARTEFIGUE (FRA) CITROEN DS3 WRC
21.05.2017 - Valeriy Gorban (UKR)-Sergei Larens (EST) BMW‐Mini John Cooper Works, Eurolamp World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - Martin Prokop (CZE) - Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, ONEBET JIPOCAR WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - Martin Prokop (CZE) - Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, ONEBET JIPOCAR WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - SHEIK KHALID AL QASSIMI (ARE) - CHRIS PATTERSON (GBR) CITROEN C3 WRC, CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT
21.05.2017 - SHEIK KHALID AL QASSIMI (ARE) - CHRIS PATTERSON (GBR) CITROEN C3 WRC, CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT
21.05.2017 - Mads Ostberg (NOR)-Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.