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Matthew Wilson rounded off his 2006 season in fine fashion with a win aboard his Ford Focus RS WRC06 in the Grizedale Stages Rally on Saturday.

Wilson and stand-in co-driver Scott Martin, were the quickest over all six stages of the 42 competitive mile event using the same car which was used by Wilson in the previous weekend's Wales Rally GB.

“It was a great event and it's good to end the season with a trophy,” said Wilson. “I was amazed with how much we were leading by after the first two stages so after that we just cruised it round.”

With the car having contested one of the world's most gruelling rallies the weekend before, it didn't start the event in quite the same fashion that it would a World Championship event.

“It was certainly eventful as we had no dash, no centre diff and no paddle shift as the car had been used on Wales Rally GB then on three drive days in the week – it's definitely ready for a rebuild now!”

Wilson's 2006 rally season started in January with the Monte Carlo Rally and incorporated 15 other rallies around the world. In April in Rally Argentina Wilson became the youngest ever driver to score a drivers' championship point and a fastest stage time on an FIA World Rally Championship round.

In the WRC he has been co-driven by Michael Orr, but for the Grizedale he was reunited with his former co-driver, Scott Martin.

“It was fantastic to be back in the car with Matt,” said Martin, who co-drove with Barry Clark this season to take the FIA Junior World Rally Championship Rookie title.

“Grizedale is a pretty difficult event for any co-driver as it's corner after corner and I jumped from a Group N Fiesta ST into the Focus WRC, but everything worked so well. We did have hydraulic problems which meant Matt had to shift gear manually, but even then we were going quicker than everyone else. It was the perfect way to end the year.”

Wilson is now looking forward to his next season in the World Rally Championship where he no longer will be contesting the majority of the events for the first time.

“There are only two events next year that I haven't done before, Norway and Portugal,” said Wilson. “And there's even the novelty of going to Ireland where I'll be the one with experience compared to most of the drivers which makes a refreshing change. I can't wait.”

The 2007 FIA World Rally Championship begins on January 19th with Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo.

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