Former British Junior Champion Guy Wilks is set to contest the biggest event of his career when he competes in the Network Q Rally of Great Britain later this month.

Following on from his successful season in the British Rally Championship whereby he finished third in the competitive Super 1600 class, the 21 year old from Heighington, County Durham has been granted a drive in Britain's round of the World Rally Championship which gets underway in Cardiff on November 14th.

Wilks, who works as a Manager in the family garage business, only started rallying three years ago after a successful trials riding career and immediately sprung to prominence in the Ford Ka Championship in his maiden year winning the Junior Championship. He then progressed to the Ford Puma Championship in 2001 and despite the lack of activity due to the Foot and Mouth epidemic; he finished in second place in the series.

His performance over the two seasons earned him a drive with the brand new official Ford Junior Rallye Team for this season whereby he has impressed with a string of good results to end up in third place behind seasoned veterans Justin Dale and Gwyndaf Evans, after leading the series at the mid point only to suffer a run of bad luck.

However, it will not be the first taste of World Championship action for Wilks who contested both the Swedish and German Rallies earlier in the year, making quite an impact. In Sweden he was running well in his first competitive outing in a four-wheel drive car when he went out with mechanical problems and then in Germany, he was lying fourth in the Junior World Championship only to drop down to seventh after some problems on the all-tarmac event.

"I've had a taste of competing against the world's best drivers on both snow and tarmac and now it's my chance on gravel. I'm not too familiar with the Welsh forests and it will be a good test, especially as the roads are likely to cut up and the weather will play a part. There is bound to be lots of pressure on me but it's my chance to prove myself worthy of a drive next season so I'll be giving it 100%. My plan is to get inside the top ten of the Super 1600 cars on leg one and then go for an all out attack on the second day and try to make the finish," said Wilks who will drive his usual 1600cc Ford Puma on the rally, and be co-driven by regular partner, Scotsman Roger Herron.

Teaming up with Wilks for the four day, 1000 mile event are local Ford dealers, Holiways whereby friend and former competitor, Managing Director Mathew Hardy has agreed to back Wilks in his bid for glory on his home event. Hardy competed against Wilks in the Ford Ka Championship in 2000 and has every confidence that Guy will be successful on the event.

"Guy is a great driver who we've known for a long time and Holiways are very happy to help him in what is Britain's biggest sporting event. He is the only local driver from our region contesting the rally so who better to support as he only lives a few miles down the road," said Hardy from his Newton Aycliffe office.

Just ninety cars will take to the start in the Welsh capital on Thursday evening (14th) before three loops of stages around the forests of South Wales over the next three days. Finland's Marcus Gronholm (Peugeot) has already clinched the drivers' title but British favourites Colin McRae (Ford) and Richard Burns (Peugeot) will be vying for the support of around two million home spectators who are expected to line the route.