Britain's Matthew Wilson has said that he is feeling 100 per cent ready for the second half of the season, which gets underway this coming week with the Neste Oil Rally Finland.

The Englishman has managed four points finishes thus far this year and he went into the summer break very positively following back-to-back top eight results in Greece and Turkey, when he brought his M-Sport-run Focus RS WRC07 home in seventh and sixth respectively.

While another points' finish this weekend might be difficult - especially as the locals always tend to dominate, Wilson does have quite a bit of experience of the round now and he finished tenth last year and in 2006.

He also contested three Finnish national rallies back in 2005 and that will give him and co-driver, Scott Martin some extra knowledge to draw on as they tackle the fast flowing tests.

One thing that will make the challenge more difficult, however, is the fact that almost half of the route is new, with the major changes affecting Saturday's second leg, which contains virtually half the competitive distance and five new stages.

"I'm really looking forward to Finland and getting back in the car after such a big break over the summer," said Matt, who is the son of Ford/M-Sport boss, Malcolm Wilson. "I've had a bit of time in the car with a few promotional drives like Goodwood and some drive days, which have been really beneficial while there have been no rallies.

"Scott and I have spent some time recently working on our notes and I think with even more new rally route this year we will need to be onto the ball with our pacenotes - they are such an important aspect of a fast event like this.

"Finland is going to be quite warm but I have been keeping my fitness level up over the break with the bike ride across Britain and some training back in Cumbria and I am feeling 100 per cent ready to get back into the action."

Asked about his charity bike ride, which raised over ?30,000 - one of the beneficiaries being the WRC-affiliated Richard Burns Foundation, he added that the whole experience was 'awesome'.

"There was not a moment where we felt down even if the weather was bad. To finish was a great achievement, and it was hard to believe that not one of us really wanted to cross the line at John o'Groats because it was as if we all wanted to keep going.

"From a fitness point of view this ride was a great thing for both Scott and I. We cycle quite a bit and go to the gym when we are at home but nothing to this degree, so I know I am going to be feeling fresh as a daisy for Finland."

Malcolm Wilson meanwhile is optimistic about what the Stobart squad can do in the second part of the year - and he is keen to see his son, Gigi Galli and Henning Solberg do as well as they can.

"I'm looking forward to the second half of the season with the Stobart team. We have a strong line-up for Finland - and the next few events with [Francois] Duval scoring for the team on the remaining tarmac rallies. I believe in the second half of the season the Stobart team can achieve its best results to date. Both Gigi and Henning have good experience in Finland which is crucial for achieving good results.

"The team still has a chance for a podium spot in the Manufacturers' Championship, especially with Duval's addition, so firm results in Finland will be a good way to mark the start of the second half of the season," he concluded.


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