KARTING North East-sponsored driver Guy Wilks has vowed to come back fighting after missing out on a semi-final place at his home round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship last weekend.

The only permanent British driver in this year’s championship, Wilks, from Durham, had been looking to emulate his success in the earlier part of the season as the championship headed to Lydden Hill for its only UK round of the year.

But his hopes of enjoying home success were dashed when his Loco-liveried and KNE-backed Volkswagen RX Polo struggled to match the pace of his factory counterparts, and missed out on a spot in the final 12.

The weekend got underway with first and second qualifying on Saturday whereby Wilks ended the first session in 14th spot, but pulled back two positions in the second to end the day 12th. A puncture in Q3 left him struggling in 13th spot, and despite his best efforts to force his way up to the top 12, he was unable to get a fast-enough lap in the fourth and final session.

As a result, he missed out on a semi-final place, ending the day 15th overall, but adding another three points to his tally, and remains 15th in the championship going into next weekend’s action in Norway.

Picture attached (please accredit Marcus Andrews if used) Guy Wilks didn’t make the final at Lydden Hill

COUNTY Durham motorcycle racer Chrissy Rouse has moved up to third in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship following a strong weekend at Donington Park.

The Mission Racing BMW rider from Burnopfield had an eventful two-part race last Sunday afternoon as the series joined the FIM Superbike World Championship paddock as part of its support programme for the British round.

After qualifying seventh on the grid for the first part, Rouse was hoping to make a good start and get two good 18-lap races in to help improve his points tally. Making a quick getaway, he made up two places in the opening lap, but it all went wrong a lap later when a move on a rival for fourth ended up in the gravel. Rouse managed to re-join, but was languishing way down in 28th.

The rest of the race was spent fighting his way back through the pack, and the Newcastle University student made light work of clawing back position, taking two or three riders each lap to make up some 21 places to end the race in seventh position.

This meant he started from seventh once again for race two, but this time he got an even better start and was up to fourth at the first corner before moving up to third a few moments later. He continued to battle at the front but a mistake three laps from home saw him lose two places and with no time to make up for his error, he had to settle for fifth and a decent haul of points.

Saltburn rider Davey Todd was also in action but crashed out of the second race in the early stages. Rouse is running a bus trip to the next round at Knockhill later this month so anyone wishing to travel or for further details, call Chrissy on 07824 349578.

REDCAR SG Petch Bears speedway team had to race their home meeting against Scunthorpe Scorpions without top scorer Ben Barker who was unwell but despite the setback, they took a deserved victory.

Heat one got them off to a good start with a win for Jason Garrity whilst Bears’ new signing Danny Ayres won the next heat with team mate Ellis Perks, just back from injury, in second place. Scorpions Lewis Kerr and Ryan Douglas recorded a 5-1 in heat three to level the scoreline as Perks and Ayres sandwiched ex-Bear Josh Auty in the next heat.

Bears’ Charles Wright recovered from his bout of flu with a win with team-mate Jonas B Andersen in third whilst in heat six, Garrity suffered a mechanical problem but team mate Coty Garcia rode a brilliant race to win and split the points.

The Bears scored 5-1s in the next three heats to stretch the lead to 16 points and despite some tactical riding by the visitors to reduce the deficit, the home team recorded a superb win with the final score being Bears 51-42 Scorpions.

MAKING his annual trip out to compete in the Caribbean, Leeming’s Kevin Procter got his campaign underway with a superb fourth place finish in the King of the Hill competition last weekend.

Driving the Procter’s Luxury Coaches-backed Ford Fiesta he was sharing with Newcastle co-driver Andrew Roughead, the pair are competing in this weekend’s SOL Rally Barbados where they are hoping to clinch victory against a strong international field.