Dealer Team Suzuki Prepares For Season Finale

Dealer Team Suzuki’s driver Guy Wilks returns from Junior World Rally Championship duty to compete in the final round of the 2004 Kwik-Fit/Pirelli British Rally Championship, the Tempest Rally, 5-6 November, hoping to finish off the season with further glory.

The Tempest Rally could see Dealer Team Suzuki, which is backed by Shell/Helix, Clarion, Suzuki Finance, PIAA and Mondial, triumph in a further two championships. Co-driver Phil Pugh (Towyn, Gwynedd) is just four points away from winning the British Super 1600 co-drivers’ title and in the Teams Championship, Dealer Team Suzuki currently lies second behind M Sport (Mathew Wilson – Ford Focus WRC).

For Pugh (34) this would be his first ever major title in 16 years of rallying. He said: "I’m not nervous about the Tempest Rally even though I’m so close to winning the co-drivers’ title. The nerves may start as we approach the first stage but once I’m into reading out the notes I’m sure they’ll fade away. Both Guy and I must concentrate fully for the whole event if we want to complete the season on a high, as all the other competitors will want to do the same.

"This season has been really exciting, especially being in such a quick and competitive car as the Ignis, and I’m already looking forward to 2005."

Wilks (Darlington) won both the British Super 1600 Rally Championship and British Junior Championship at the previous round, the Trackrod Rally, despite not actually being there. Wilks and Pugh were in Sardinia securing 2nd place in class in Rally d’Italia.

In the final round of the Junior World Rally Championship, Rally Catalunya, October 29-31, Wilks needs a top 2 finish to be certain of the title.

Dealer Team Suzuki’s Team Manager, Risto Laine, is hoping for a spectacular end to the season. He said: "We’ve had a terrific season winning two British titles and we’re hoping for at least one more. Guy and Phil have shown just how good a team they are in the Ignis. The Tempest Rally rounds off what has been a terrific year for Dealer Team Suzuki."

Wilks (23) said: "I really hope on the Tempest Rally I can help secure the co-drivers’ title for Phil and the Teams’ Title for Dealer Team Suzuki. The team and Phil have helped me secure my titles (British Super 1600 Rally Championship and British Junior Championship) and now it’s my turn to help them!

Wilks added: "This season has been a steep learning curve for myself, Phil and the team, but after a worrying start with the accident at the Pirelli Rally, we came back to dominate the British Super 1600 Championship. I hope Suzuki’s success this year will help give more credit to the championship and encourage more manufacturers into the sport.

"The Tempest is an event I’ve never competed in before but I’m really looking forward to showing the British public just how good the Ignis is and hopefully secure maximum points to finish of the season in style."

Published 26 October 2004 Melanie Carter

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