Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Suzuki's Wilks Walks Away with Top Titles

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Suzuki's Wilks Walks Away with Top Titles

Article excerpt

Byline: By Martin Neal Evening Gazette

Dealer Team Suzuki's Guy Wilks has been crowned British Super 1600 rally champion and British Junior champion after the Trackrod Rally Yorkshire - despite not even competing in the event.

The Darlington driver's only challenger for the titles, Jonnie Wigmore (Ford Puma), could only finish third in class in last weekend's rally, giving Wilks and co-driver Phil Pugh an unassailable lead going into next month's final event, the Tempest Rally.

Wilks is also still firmly in contention for the Junior World Rally Championship after finishing second in class at the weekend's Rally Italia.

He was 11th overall and the top British finisher.

The 23-year-old now goes into the final round in Rally Catalunya with a three point lead over Per-Gunnar Andersson (Suzuki Ignis).

"I'm absolutely ecstatic at winning the two British Championships," he said, "although to win it when not competing feels slightly strange.

"I'm very pleased for Suzuki GB, because they have put faith in me and co-driver Phil Pugh and put money into British rallying, and we've come up trumps.

"To be champions in our first year is very, very satisfying."

And he added: "I'm now really up for the challenge in the Junior World Rally Championship at the final round in Spain.

"I'll be giving it my best shot to win the title and finish what would be a terrific year for myself, Phil and Suzuki GB."

Meanwhile, Jonny Milner's fading hopes of gaining a record third successive Kwik-Fit Pirelli British Rally Championship were finally extinguished despite taking maximum points from the weekend's penultimate round in the North York Moors forests.

Milner (Subaru Impreza) was second to Mark Higgins (Ford Focus) on the Trackrod Rally Yorkshire.

The 20 points he gained could have put him back in with a mathematical chance of retaining the crown. …

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