20 March 2007
Q&A: Guy Wilks - EXCLUSIVE.
by Rob Wilkins
Britain's Guy Wilks has taken the step up to the 'senior' level in the FIA World Rally Championship this season, having put together a privateer programme with a Ramsport-run Ford Focus World Rally Car. The former Suzuki and Junior WRC front-runner will take in his second event with the Mobil 1-backed Ford at the of this month in Portugal and here he speaks exclusively to Crash.net Radio about that and lots, lots more...
Guy, your next event in the WRC with the Focus is coming up. How are you feeling ahead of the Rally de Portugal?
I am looking forward to it. Obviously it is a gravel event, which we are use to. Also after what happened last time in Norway we are looking to make amends. We want to find our feet on an event that not everybody has done. Hopefully it should be OK.
What are your targets then, to get to the finish?
Yeah, I want to get mileage. I am desperate for it in the new car - that is the most important thing. Like you say, to get to the finish, is a good thing. We want to see exactly where are pace lets us go too. We do not want to take any risks though. To be truthful we don't want to happen this time, what happened in Norway. We don't want to go off the road with what was a minor error. We can't afford to do that – it has consequences. So we have got to play a safe game.
You of course did your first event with the Ford in Norway, have you done or will you do any testing prior to Portugal to further familiarise yourself with the Focus?
Hopefully we are doing a day this Saturday [March 24], which should be great. It is just the right time - it is perfect to do a test five days before the event starts. It is a good time to get in the car, just to refresh myself and get a few miles under my belt. I will then have the car in my mind when I am writing the pace notes. So it is ideal. Probably a better situation than we had in Norway. I am really looking forward to that.
Staying with Norway, I know you retired early on day two, but could you still take some positives from that event?
Definitely - when the car was right and Phil [Pugh – my co-driver] and I knew we were comfortable, we set some good times, some good split times. That was a real positive. The pace was there and we were beating Dani Sordo and Chris Atkinson, who are both works drivers, in some of those stages - and if we weren't beating them we were very close to them. That was a good point. It was the first time I had stepped in the car too and it was in circumstances I am not to use to and everyone else was use to [following the Swedish Rally - the only other WRC event on snow, which took place the week before]. When you are a privateer you are never in an ideal situation and we have just got to take the opportunity we have and our next opportunity is Portugal. We have to really make it work.
Will it be easier being on gravel, as opposed to snow?
I'm sure it will be - although you can get caught out on gravel as easy as you can on snow. But of course there are no snow banks and you can see what is at the sides of the roads, there is nothing hidden.
We will have to see what the roads are like though. It is obviously a new event for everybody and it is in a different part of the country than it previously ran in. So, who knows what the roads are going to be like - and the weather. The weather could play a determining factor in obviously the road conditions and how everybody plans to take the event. That will, I believe, be the most interesting thing - the weather.
Now I believe you have an eight round programme lined up for this year with the Focus, is that correct?
We are hoping for eight, but we have got four or five definitely planned and the rest are due to follow on. We have a programme in mind at the moment but we are maybe looking at trying to switch it. It is definitely not set in stone.
Can you give us some more details?
Click on relevant pic to enlarge
the conversation - Add your comment
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.