TOUGH WEEKEND FOR WILKS IN PORTUGAL
Durham’s 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.
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 Guy, 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.
With the next round, in German next weekend, Wilks is looking ahead to a fresh start and hopes to climb back up the points table, where he currently sits 13th.
TEESSIDERS LOOKING FOR SUCCESS
Two drivers from Teesside are hoping for success this season when they continue their quest for honours in the Toyota Sprint Series.
Matthew Tyson from Acklam races a Toyota Corolla SR in Class D whereas Steven Allison from Marske contests Class E in a street-version Toyota Yaris SR whereby he won the championship last year.
Already Allison has got his title defence off to a great start by taking a class victory at the Blyton Park Sprint earlier this month in the Easigears, Track Torque and Race Refinish backed-car going into the next round at Croft in two weeks’ time.
Tyson, meanwhile, is starting his sixth season and is looking to improve on his second place in class from last year, despite only contesting two rounds. His season too got underway earlier this month taking runner-up at Blyton Park where he was up against some strong opposition but came away 28th out of 48 cars overall.
With backing from SJ Autosport and Track Torque Racing, his car carries the logo of a national charity, CALM, to help raise awareness of depression and suicide in males aged under 45 in the UK. Matthew too will be in action at Croft on May 15th.
DOUBLE WIN FOR THE BEARS
Following an away win against Scunthorpe, Redcar SG Petch Bears raced against Ipswich Witches last week, including their captain Danny King who is current British champion, and came away with a superb victory.
King and his team mate James Sargeant scored a convincing 1-5 in the first heat but Bears hit back and scored 5-1s in the next two heats with wins for Ellis Perks and Jonas B Andersen, to make the scoreline 11-7. Points were split in the next heat with a convincing win for Witches’ Australian rider Rory Schlein. Bears duo Charles Wright and Andersen grabbed a 4-2 in the next heat, as did Jason Garrity and Argentinian Coty Garcia in the following heat for the home team to give them an eight point lead.
Witches riders Nico Corvatti and Cameron Heaps reduced the Bears lead to six points with a 2-4 score whereas the points were split in the next four heats with wins for Garcia, Schein (in the fastest time of the meeting), Corvatti and Bears’ Ben Barker. Wright lead heat 12 from the start to finish, however, his team mate had a fall and retired. On the last lap Corvatti and team-mate Danny Hume had a spectacular coming together and both crashed out. Hume was disqualified as the cause of the accident and Corvatti was taken to hospital, with injury to his arm.
However, as the accident happened on the last lap Corvatti was credited second place. Bears completed the meeting with 5-1s in the final three heats, with two wins for Garrity and one for Andersen to make the final scoreline Bears 54 – Witches 35.