Skoda UK has signed double British Rally champion Guy Wilks to compete on this year's Rally of Scotland, the final event of the 2009 Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
Wilks will drive a Škoda UK-sponsored Fabia Super 2000 run by Rene George Rally Sport, and is set to go head-to-head with fellow British rally driver Kris Meeke, this year's IRC title winner in what is sure to be billed as a 'Battle of the Brits'.
“This is a great opportunity for me and I'm really looking forward to driving for Škoda UK," 28-year old Wilks commented, "The fact that we are competing on home soil, in front of the British fans, makes it a really special occasion and I'll definitely be going all out for the win!”
Wilks matched the late Colin McRae by winning back-to-back British titles in 2007 and 2008 and, before that, campaigned successfully in the Junior World Rally Championships for several years. Skoda's UK brand director Robert Hazelwood admits that the company could have done a lot worse in its driver choice.
“The Skoda Fabia Super 2000 has proved itself to be one of the best performing cars in the IRC and delivered fantastic results for our motorsport team, so we are thrilled that Guy is competing for us and we expect to see him pushing hard for the lead," he claimed.
“The Fabia range, with forecasted sales of some 18,000 in the UK, is having a fantastic year as well, and Guy's drive in the Škoda UK-sponsored Fabia Super 2000 adds further excitement to what is heading to be for a very successful year for the brand with a record market share.”
The RACMSA Rally of Scotland features 13 stages on both tarmac and gravel, starting on Thursday 19 November in Perth and finishing at the stunning Stirling Castle on Saturday 21 November, and entries currently number 60, with capacity to accept more up to today's closing date [Friday 7 November].
Some 30 international entries from ten nations, and ten vehicle manufacturers, feature on the list, with 2009 champion and factory Peugeot driver Meeke leading the way. Scotland's Alister McRae is also included, in a semi-works Proton Satria, as are reigning Scottish champion David Bogie (Mitsubishi Lancer) and newly crowned British Rally champion Keith Cronin (Fiat Abarth Punto). A second Peugeot 207 S2000 has also been entered by the BF Goodrich Drivers Team, with the winner of that drive to be announced before the end of the week.
Also on the entry list are future stars Craig Breen and Tom Cave. The 18-year old tackled his first World Rally Championship event last year, just days after passing his driving test, while Breen, at 19, walked away with four championship titles this year, including the UK, Irish and International Fiesta series.