Wilks back to rally in Yorkshire
- 5th October 2006, 8:25am
Wilks, one of Britain’s hottest rally prospects, is contesting all bar one of the rounds of the Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship this season and despite missing the last round, Ulster Rally, is still top of the class standings when drop scores are considered.
Whilst the S1600 class cars give up around 60 horsepower and two-wheel-drive to the Subarus and Mitsubishis that have won the BRC rounds this season, Wilks has finished strongly on every event against the more powerful opposition with four-wheel-drive, in his Suzuki Ignis.
“It’s going to be difficult in a S1600 car in the forests of Yorkshire as there’s long flat out straights and we don’t have the power of the four-wheel drive cars,” says Wilks, 25, who is also competing on the world stage, currently lying in third in the FIA Junior World Rally Championship.
“We lose out on traction exiting the corners and then with top end speed too but I’ll still be aiming to be in the top six or seven, we’ll certainly be trying the hardest.”
Wilks faces competition from another Suzuki in the class, that of reigning BRC Stars of the Future champion, James Wozencroft. The Ludlow driver moved into the points lead (before dropping the season’s worse score) after the Ulster Rally and his team, Dealer Team Suzuki, currently head the Teams’ championship.
“It was a bit of a shock to end up with the S1600 lead after Ulster,” says 22 year-old Wozencroft who is a member of the MSA British Rally Elite. “It certainly gave me and the team the boost we needed and it means there’s all to play for heading to Yorkshire. My aim will definitely be to beat the Fiestas.”
Second in the S1600 standings, 24 year-old Barry Clark from Ellon, Aberdeen reckons his Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team Fiesta S1600 will be a very different gravel car from the one he used to win the class in the last gravel event.
“It’s a totally different car now,” says Clark. “It’s come on in so many different areas that it feels like a totally different car. We’re certainly going to have a good go at it in Yorkshire.”
Alongside Clark is a driver with vast rallying pedigree, although poor results so far this season in the BRC, Roman Kresta.
“Once again it’s a rally that I’ve never contested before and our test was cancelled because it was raining so much,” says Kresta, 30, a veteran of 35 World Rally Championship rounds and the BP Ford World Rally Team official test driver.
“It’s a long rally to have on one day but the car is strong. Hopefully my luck will be better this time,” he says.
International Rally Yorkshire takes place this Saturday 7th October with cars heading out from Pickering Showground at 9am and the first car finishing at 7pm after 105 of the fastest gravel forest stage miles in Europe.
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