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Guy Wilks endured a tough weekend in the second round of the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship at Montelegre, but has vowed to come back fighting next time out.Guy Walks

As the only permanent British driver in the world’s premier rallycross series, the 36 year old had been eyeing a place in the final after just missing out at the opening round earlier this month.

Wilks was one of 22 drivers who lined up in front of a capacity crowd in the Portuguese sunshine and his weekend got off to a strong start, as he powered his LOCO Energy Drink and Karting North East-backed Volkswagen RX Polo to 10th position in Q1 on Saturday.

But the afternoon’s second session didn’t go so well for the Durham driver, as he got caught out and stuck behind four other drivers who all opted for the joker lap at the same time and he was forced to sit behind in their dust, wrecking his chances of a fast lap and finishing 17th overall.

Determined to make up for lost ground on Sunday, he emerged a much stronger 11th in Q3, and was looking good as he lined up for Q4 shortly after midday.

After a clean start, he tried to make a move down the inside of another car when the driver outbraked himself, forcing Wilks to do the same. He ended up forced into the joker lap, this time behind five other cars and was unable to make up any time. At the end of the session he was stuck in 17th position and out of the running for a semi-final spot.

Guy Wilks: “The weekend started quite well but in Q2 yesterday it just all went wrong, I just got absolutely stuffed with dust, there was nothing I could do about it. I won my heat in Q3 and I thought there may still be a chance of getting to the semi-final, but Q4 was hard. It all just went wrong and there wasn’t anything I could do once I got stuck behind the other cars.

“It’s one of those things, this is the World Championship and it was never going to be that easy. Guy WilksWe’ve had a few problems here and there but once again the team has worked tirelessly all weekend and have done a fantastic job. We’ve got new parts coming for Germany and we’ll be back out fighting. This may have been a tough weekend but we need to just press on and come back stronger. It’s only two weeks until the next round where it will be onwards and upwards.”

With the next round, the Cooper Tires World RX of Hockenheim, just two weeks away on May 5, Wilks is looking ahead to a fresh start and hopes to climb back up the points table, where he currently sits 13th.

Championships points after Round 2:

1.         Mattias Ekström 58
2.         Johan Kristoffersson 44
3.         Petter Solberg 42
4.         Timmy Hansen 33
5.         Andreas Bakkerud 30
6.         Timo Scheider 28
7.         Sebastien Loeb 26
8.         Reinis Nitiss 26
9.         Kevin Hansen 21
10.       Toomas Heikkinen 19
13.       Guy Wilks 13

Picture courtesy of Tom Banks/Colin McMaster – mcklein.de

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