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Round three of the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship proved to be the toughest yet for Guy Wilks who endured a difficult weekend at Hockenheimring in Germany.
The 36 year old from Durham was in good spirits despite a testing weekend in Portugal for round two but things got off to a bad start when the LOCO Energy Drink and Karting North East-backed Volkswagen RX Polo driver suffered a broken wheel rim and puncture in Q1 on Friday.
The former British Rally champion battled back into contention in Q2 before Saturday’s opening race in Q3 saw him up to 13th and hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals as one of the top 12 cars.
However, it wasn’t to be when Guy was involved in a huge collision in Q4 which sent him into the barriers and whilst he emerged uninjured from the 80mph impact, it meant the only permanent British driver in the series was sidelined and didn’t make it into the all-important semi-finals.
Despite his disappointment, Wilks has only dropped two positions in the title race following this weekend’s action so is now focussed on the next round in Belgium which starts later this week.
Guy Wilks: “It’s been another difficult weekend for us. We are struggling with the set-up on the rear of the car and it’s proving hard to overcome the problems. We are losing a lot of time in the corners and also I’m still getting up to speed myself with this as I’m allowing myself too much thinking time. We were unlucky in Q1 but things looked to be on the up and we felt good in the next two races but in Q4, I tangled with a couple of drivers and was launched into the barriers at high speed. The car was in the air but I managed to save it and I was so lucky it didn’t roll.
“But we move on, we get stuck in and start with another clean slate in Belgium next weekend. I really need to get my season going so despite having very little time before the next round, we’ll do some more work on the car, we’ll address the problems we are having and regroup. I keep reminding myself that this is a strong World Championship and we are up against factory-backed teams but that’s no excuse and hopefully we can get some more points on the board at the next round."
Round four, the Coyote World RX of Belgium, gets underway on Friday 12th May at the Circuit Jules Tacheny whereby Guy will be looking to improve on his current 15th place in the standings.
Championships points after Round 3:
1. Mattias Ekström 85
2. Johan Kristoffersson 69
3. Petter Solberg 62
4. Sebastien Loeb 48
5. Timmy Hansen 47
6. Timo Scheider 41
7. Reinis Nitiss 33
Kevin Hansen 33
Andreas Bakkerud 33
10. Toomas Heikkinen 29
15. Guy Wilks 13