04 July 2004 - 10:41
Dominant Wilks wins Super 1600 Class
ERC: Jim Clark Rally, Great Britain
Dealer Team Suzuki's driver Guy Wilks outclassed the Super 1600 field in the Jim Clark Memorial Rally to secure his third successive maximum Super 1600 points in the Kwik-Fit Pirelli British Super 1600 Championship (Saturday 3 July).
The 23-year-old secured Dealer Team Suzuki's first ever class win on a tar surface and finished a superb eighth overall in the event.
Wilks (Darlington), and co-driver Phil Pugh (Towyn, Gwynedd) won 17 of the 23 special stages in the Super 1600 class to finish nearly six minutes ahead of championship leader, Jonnie Wigmore (Ford Puma). The weather conditions and mechanical problems forced five of the seven Super 1600 cars who started the event out, leaving just Wilks and Wigmore who finished.
The result pushes Wilks to within two points of Wigmore as the battle for this year's Kwik-Fit Pirelli British Super 1600 Championship really hots up.
Wilks (aged 23), said: "I feel on top of the world after this result as it increases my chances of winning the Super 1600 Championship. It also takes away the memory of my non-finish the last time I competed here in 2003. The heavy rain during some of the stages made driving conditions really tricky and we had some scary moments on many of the stages. The roads frequently felt like they had black ice on them."
Phil Pugh (aged 33) also commented on the weather but was delighted with the Super 1600 win. Said Pugh: "The win was special for both of us as neither of us had done well in our previous drives on this rally. Winning has become a habit now and one I don't want to break. The heavy rain followed by bright sunshine didn't help, but having done this event a few times before I knew the weather conditions can be like this."
The win comes on the back of another superb drive on the JWRC round in Turkey last weekend (25-27 June), where Guy and Phil finished a superb third in class.
Wilks added: "We've had back to back British and JWRC rounds twice now and secured three maximum class points and also a third in class. I'm feeling very confident in the car and my driving now and I'm already looking forward to the Manx International Rally, even though it is nearly four weeks away!"
Wilks and Pugh now have three and a half weeks of rest before heading to the Isle of Man for the next round of the Kwik-Fit Pirelli British Super 1600 Championship, and the Manx International Rally (29-31 July).
Andrew Nesbitt/James O'Brien (Subaru Impreza WRC) won the Jim Clark Memorial Rally, finishing nearly two minutes ahead of Eugene Donnelly's Toyota Corolla WRC.
Suzuki Motorsport [07/07/04 - 14:22]
Jim Clark Rally : Super 1600 result
1 - Guy Wilks (GB) Suzuki Ignis 2hr 25m 09.5secs
2 - Jonnie Wigmore (GB) Ford Puma 2hr 30m 58.9secs
British Super 1600 Championship
1 - Jonnie Wigmore (GB) Ford Puma 62 points
2 - Guy Wilks (GB) Suzuki Ignis 60 points
3 - Aki Teiskonen (Fin) Citroлn Saxo 35 points
4 - Gareth Jones (GB) Renault Clio 33 points
5 - Barry Clarke (GB) Ford Puma 31 points