Dealer Team Suzuki’s driver Guy Wilks stormed back in to contention for the Kwik-Fit Pirelli British Super 1600 Championship with a superb drive on this weekend’s International Rally of Wales, finishing second in class and 10th overall.
Wilks (Darlington), and co-driver Phil Pugh (Towyn, Gwynedd) drove conservatively on the first day, finishing second in the Super 1600 class overnight and 10th overall. But a storming drive on the first stage (Hafren) of Day Two, gave Wilks and Dealer Team Suzuki their first ever fastest stage time in the Super 1600 class.
The Rally of Wales saw eleven cars from five manufacturers, making it the biggest ever field of Super 1600 cars to take part in a British Rally Championship round. Kris Meeke/Chris Patterson (Opel Corsa) won the Super 1600 class by 45.8 seconds from Wilks/Pugh.
Wilks secured the maximum 20 points for winning the Super 1600 class because Meeke is not registered for the British Championship.
Wilks (aged 23), said: “It’s been a very good event for us as it has been my longest amount of time behind the wheel of the Ignis since I joined the team. We’ve been learning about the set-up as we go making small changes at every service halt and we’ve made significant progress.”
A delighted Phil Pugh (aged 33) was more than happy, especially as it was his home event. Said Pugh: “To score maximum points on my home event is brilliant. The result also wipes out the disappointment of the retirement at the Pirelli Rally last month.”
Added Wilks: “I had no reason to take any risks during the rally as Kris Meeke is not a registered BRC driver, and therefore doesn’t score points. We’ve proved we had the measure of him when we set the fastest stage time on the first stage on Sunday morning, beating him by four seconds.”
Dealer Team Suzuki’s Team Manager Risto Laine was very happy with the result. He said: “It was important to score points this weekend and Guy drove sensibly, but with very good pace. We’re very happy with the rally and look forward to the next event with confidence.”
Wilks and Pugh now head for Greece and the Junior World Rally Championship (June 4-6) with the next British event being the Scottish Rally (June 11-12).
Jonny Milner/Nicky Beech (Subaru Impreza WRC) finishing 1m 04.2secs ahead of Austin MacHale’s Ford Focus WRC, won the Rally of Wales.Published 20 May 2004