WRC »

Wilks `optimistic` about Finland prospects.

Britain's Guy Wilks will make his first appearance in this year's FIA World Rally Championship this week, when he starts the Neste Oil Rally Finland, the ninth round in the series.

Wilks, who has recently competed in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in Russia and in the British Rally Championship on the Isle of Man, will be back behind the wheel of his JAS Motorsport-run Honda Civic Type R R3 car for the 'Rally of a 1000 Lakes'.

The 2007 Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally champion recently conducted a successful test on a variety of roads in Finland, racking up 300 kilometres will no problem at all.

"It was a busy schedule but we did a lot of useful set-up work and underlined the basic reliability of the car," said Wilks, who led his class commandingly during both his previous outings with the Civic, in Australia and Russia.

"I think the nature of the roads should suit the car very well and we're aiming for a solid finish with a good result as well. The Mugen prepared Honda engine in particular is extremely strong, which is absolutely vital on a quick rally like this one."

The Englishman counts the Finnish rally as one of his favourite events, having claimed his first podium in the Junior World Rally Championship on the fast roads around the rally's base in Jyvaskyla. Last year, he only just missed out on scoring World Championship points in Finland, and he won the Junior Championship class there in 2006.

"I definitely feel an affinity with the roads," added the 27 year-old. "Maybe it comes from my background of riding motocross bikes. Of course the speeds are much slower, but you do get an idea of how to jump the bike and the correct lines to take. I've got a good bit of experience of Finland now, having contested it five times previously, so I think we've got every right to be optimistic."

Wilks, who will again be partnered by David Moynihan, as regular co-pilot Phil Pugh is suffering from back problems, is hoping to replicate the success enjoyed by many Civic Type R R3 customers all over the world.

Indeed during the last few months Marcel Piepers has claimed several class wins in Holland, as has also been the case for Levai Ferenc in Hungary. Danish driver Martin Knudsen has just joined the winners' circle in France, and another class win has been racked up by Rajoel Mamisoa in Reunion Island, to name but a few.

"As has been seen in several national championships the Civic Type R R3 has proven to be reliable and competitive," summed-up JAS Motorsport team boss, Alessandro Mariani. "Our customers are very happy with their performances and successes.

"With Guy we've had a little bit of bad luck this year and so the whole team has been working very hard for improving the reliability and we've got through a very intense test programme in order to be ready for the such difficult challenge in Finland."


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Guy Wilks / Phil Pugh - Honda Civic Type R R3. Rally of Canberra. APRC [Pic credit: Linear Photographs]
Guy Wilks / Phil Pugh - Honda Civic Type R R3. Rally of Canberra. APRC [Pic credit: Linear Photographs]
Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Monza, [Credit: Hyundai Motorsport]
Podium 1st Australian - Molly Taylor (AUS) Bill Hayes (AUS) Subaru Impreza WRX Sti
Podium - Volkswagen
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
Podium, 1st Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 WRC
Podium, 1st Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 WRC
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Podium - Volkswagen
Podium - Volkswagen
Podium 1st Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 WRC
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC

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 - 2016 Crash Media Group

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