The Skoda UK team will miss the next round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge season, the Geko Ypres Rally, as Guy Wilks recovers from the injury he sustained in the last round of the year in Sardinia.
Wilks suffered two fractured vertebrae in an accident on the opening stage in Sardinia but early medical assessments following his return to the UK have suggested that the injury will heal quickly.
The former British Rally Champion has been undergoing treatment in a special oxygen chamber in Middlesbrough to aid his recovery with Skoda yet to make a decision on when he will be fit to return.
With the IRC title battle being decided by taking a drivers seven best scores from twelve events, the Skoda UK team will miss the Ypres event without it playing a massive impact on Wilks' title challenge.
“I'm feeling better every day and I'm able to walk around with a brace on to support my back,” Wilks said. “The doctors in Italy were very good, but I certainly wanted to get a second opinion from a specialist at home, someone I either knew or could talk to without the language barrier, and my doctor said that in terms of breaking your back, my situation is not so bad.
“I'm going to an oxygen chamber to accelerate my recovery, as this will help speed up the growth of the bone and heal the fracture quicker. My doctor has also given me a training programme for the swimming pool and some floor exercises which will strengthen my back, and I'm not far away from taking the brace off completely.
“I'm massively disappointed not to be going to Ypres, because it's such a fantastic event. I hope to have another chance at contesting it in the future. The priority for me right now is to get back to full fitness, so I can score more podiums and rally wins in the years ahead.”