Suzuki driver Guy Wilks (Darlington) has claimed his first ever Junior World Rally Championship victory, on the Acropolis Rally, which finished in Lamia on Sunday 6 June. The 23-year-old Englishman drove faultlessly throughout all three days of the second round of the Junior World Rally Championship. Wilks’ Ignis was a hundred per cent reliable throughout the event, which is widely regarded as one of the toughest on the entire championship.

Drivers had to cope with searingly hot temperatures, sharp rocks and, unusually, the occasional spot of rain. Throughout all of these challenges, neither Guy nor his Ignis missed a beat as he set two Super 1600 fastest stage times during the event.

Guy was brimming with confidence before the start of the Acropolis Rally and translated this into a perfect balance between driving quickly yet carefully. Guy took the lead on Saturday afternoon, and controlled his pace during Sunday’s six stages in order to make sure of Suzuki's third Junior World Championship victory.

He said: "I'm more delighted than I can really say. I've waited a long time for this. We knew before the start of the rally Suzuki was capable of challenging for victory but to finally achieve it feels very special indeed. The car has been supreme throughout the event, I cannot praise it highly enough. Most of all, I'd like to thank everybody at Monster Sport Europe for making this possible – there has been a lot of hard work and commitment from every team member."

Wilks’ co-driver Phil Pugh was elated with his maiden Junior World Championship win. Phil said: "To win our first ever Junior World Championship rally is a great feeling and we’re determined to achieve more results like this in the future. The final day was just a question of driving carefully in order to make the finish. It was important to keep concentrating and not take any risks at all."

Monster Sport Europe team manager Risto Laine commented: "I said at the start of the event that the Acropolis Rally was going to be as much about pure speed as strength and reliability, and that once again proved to be the case. Guy has been consistently near the top of the time sheets, and this is his well-deserved reward. The Ignis has demonstrated the speed and strength we thought it had, and I must say that we're looking in good shape for the next few events in both the British and Junior World Championships."

Published : 11/06/04 Author : Melanie Carter

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