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Guy Wilks is aiming for a place in the final this weekend as the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship heads to Montalegre in Portugal.

The only permanent British driver in the series, Wilks heads to the Bompiso World RX of Portugal lying seventh in the championship following a strong opening round in Barcelona earlier this month.

At the wheel of his LOCO Energy Drink and Karting North East-backed Volkswagen RX Polo, Durham-based Wilks narrowly missed out on a spot in the final after beating off a number of factory efforts as he stormed through the four qualifying sessions all the way to the semi-final in Spain.

But as he heads to the 1.52km Portuguese track this weekend, the double British Rally Champion and former WRC driver is hoping to go one better and secure himself a spot among the top six cars in the prestigious final.

This weekend he will battle against 22 of the best drivers from across the world, including a handful of local wild cards, and admits it will be a tough fight but is confident he can go all of the way.

36-year-old Wilks has not driven the Montalegre track before and will get his first taste of it at a test session on Wednesday where he hopes to get to grips with the surface and get everything in place to hopefully come out fighting when the racing begins on Saturday morning.

Guy Wilks: “Obviously, we want to build on what we achieved in the opening round at Barcelona, but we don’t want to get carried away by the success we had there. This is a brand new round, we start afresh with zero points and we need to up our game even more so we don’t get complacent. I’ve never driven this track but I have commentated on this event previously, so I do know it a little. It’s good that we’ve got a test because it’s going to be more than we had going into Barcelona, and I’m hopeful it will be very beneficial ahead of the weekend. After just missing out on the final last time out, naturally that’s what I’m aiming for, but this is the World Championship and anything can happen. I’ll be up against teams and drivers with much more experience and much greater budgets but we proved we can be up there in Barcelona and the next natural step is to reach the final and then to battle for a win. I’m feeling happy and confident ahead of the weekend and after our fantastic start at Barcelona I’m going out here to give everything I’ve got and hopefully we can come away celebrating.”

As owner of Karting North East, based near Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, Wilks has arranged for live action on Sunday afternoon to be streamed at the venue, and extends an open invitation to anyone who may want to visit to watch the event. Further information is available at: http://www.kartingnortheast.com.

Championships points after Round 1:

1.         Mattias Ekström 21
2.         Timo Scheider 26
3.         Andreas Bakkerud 22
4.         Johan Kristoffersson 21
5.         Petter Solberg 19
6.         Timmy Hansen 17
7.         Guy Wilks 12
8.         Toomas Heikkinen 11
9.         Ken Block 11
10.       Reinis Nitiss 8

Follow Guy on Twitter @GuyWilks and for further details, including Live Streaming and regional television coverage this weekend, please visit http://www.fiaworldrallycross.com. For further information on KNE, please visit http://www.kartingnortheast.com.

Picture courtesy of Colin McMaster – mcklein.de

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