Skoda UK Motorsport has confirmed Guy Wilks will return to the Intercontinental Rally Challenge on the Barum Czech Rally Zlin, missing the next two rounds of the series.
Two-time British champion, Wilks, is recovering from the back injuries he received when he crashed out of last month's Rally d'Italia. The 29-year-old will test his Skoda Fabia S2000 Facelift – the Czech firm's evolution of the Fabia S2000 – for the first time just prior to the Aug. 27-29 event.
Wilks, who lies third in the IRC, said: "I'm delighted that we're going to return to the IRC on the Barum Rally, because it gives me a definitive date to aim for and to make sure I'm 100 percent fit before I get back into the Fabia S2000. We'll also be able to have a good test before the rally, which is important because I haven't as yet driven the Fabia S2000 Facelift, and there are a few new things to get used to.
"It won't take me long to get up to full speed again, but after missing three rallies midseason I have to be realistic. I did the Barum Rally recce last year, so I have an idea of what the roads are like. Jan [Kopecky] will be very quick in Barum, as will Juho [Hanninen], Kris [Meeke] and several other drivers, so we'll be going there aiming for a podium finish. We were on the pace and finished on the podium in Gran Canarias, which was an asphalt rally I'd never done before, so I'd be happy with a similar result in the Czech Republic.
"My recovery is coming on very well. Since Sardinia I've been relaxing and swimming, and I've been able to do some PR work at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and at the Fabia vRS launch – all of which have been good, because I get bored very easily. I'm going to start physiotherapy very soon to strengthen my back and then I'll be able to start training properly again."