Britain's Matthew Wilson notched up his sixth points' finish of the year on the Rally Japan last weekend, but while he was very happy to add to his points tally, he conceded that he struggled on days two and three.

The Englishman's form fluctuated somewhat throughout the penultimate round in the World Rally Championship, but by the end of the second day he was perched nicely in fifth in his Stobart Ford Focus.

On the final leg he came under pressure from Suzuki duo Per-Gunnar Andersson and Toni Gardemeister, but unfortunately he couldn't hold them back, slipping down to seventh.

"The first day went really well for us and I really enjoyed it apart from the incident with Francois [Duval and his co-driver Patrick Pivato]," Matt reflected. "I think everyone in the whole WRC community did an amazing job to help and support the situation. I hope Patrick gets well soon and will be back on the rallying scene in no time.

"Days two and three were a lot more difficult for me and I really struggled in the conditions which were some of the toughest and most demanding I have ever experienced.

"When I knew I was slipping out of the fight with PG and Toni this afternoon I backed off a lot to preserve the car. Then I just cruised to the end to make sure I secured the points and moved up to tenth in the championship."

Ford/M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson meanwhile reckoned that the reason his son struggled on day's two and three was because of Duval's accident. Matt and co-driver Scott Martin were first on the scene after the Belgian's off in SS6 and while they did a great job aiding Duval in alerting safety officials, the episode definitely left its mark.

"Matthew's performance on Friday was one of his best legs to-date. Unfortunately arriving first on the scene to Francois and Patrick's accident made it difficult for him over the last two days but considering the condition of the stages it was a fantastic achievement to finish seventh. It has also given him some great experience on a rally that has thrown all of the elements at the competitors here," Wilson Sr concluded.



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