Guy Wilks will return to the Intercontinental Rally Challenge on next month's Barum Czech Rally Zlín, after missing several events with back fractures.
The 29-year old Skoda UK Motorsport driver has been out of competition since he and co-driver Phil Pugh crashed out of the Rally d'Italia-Sardegna at the beginning of June. Wilks is recovering well from the two fractured vertebrae he sustained in the accident, and is focused on getting himself fully fit for Skoda's home round of the series in the Czech Republic on 27-29 August.
He will test a Fabia S2000 Facelift for the first time before the event, which will enable him to become familiar with the wider front track configuration and to get himself back up to full rally speed.
“I'm delighted that we're going to return to the IRC on the Barum Rally, because it gives me a definitive date to aim for and to make sure I'm one hundred per cent fit before I get back into the Fabia S2000," Wilks said, "We'll also be able to have a good test before the rally, which is important because I haven't as yet driven the Fabia S2000 Facelift, and there are a few new things to get used to.
“My recovery is coming on very well. Since Sardinia I've been relaxing and swimming, and I've been able to do some PR work at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and at the Fabia vRS launch – all of which have been good, because I get bored very easily. I'm going to start physiotherapy very soon to strengthen my back and then I'll be able to start training properly again.
“It won't take me long to get up to full speed again but, after missing three rallies mid-season, I have to be realistic. I did the Barum Rally recce last year, so I have an idea of what the roads are like. Jan [Kopecky] will be very quick, as will Juho [Hanninen], Kris [Meeke] and several other drivers, so we'll be going there aiming for a podium finish. We were on the pace and finished on the podium in Gran Canarias, which was an asphalt rally I'd never done before, so I'd be happy with a similar result in the Czech Republic."
The Barum Czech Rally Zlín celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2010, and local hero Kopecky will be looking to repeat his win for Skoda from last year.