Skoda UK Motorsport driver Guy Wilks will miss the next round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge after he fractured two vertebrae in a Rally d'Italia accident last Saturday.
Wilks should have been starting the Ypres Rally in a fortnight's time, but the Skoda UK Motorsport team has decided to pull its entry for the Belgian event to allow the 29-year-old more time to recover. Providing Wilks makes the expected quick and full recovery, his next outing will be on the following IRC round, Rally Azores in mid-July.
Wilks, who has been undergoing oxygen chamber treatment at the Multiple Sclerosis Society Therapy Centre in Middlesbrough, said: "I'm feeling better every day and I'm able to walk around with a brace on to support my back.
"The doctors in Italy were very good, but I certainly wanted to get a second opinion from a specialist at home, someone I either knew or could talk to without the language barrier, and my doctor said that in terms of breaking your back, my situation is not so bad.
"I'm going to an oxygen chamber to accelerate my recovery, as this will help speed up the growth of the bone and heal the fracture quicker. My doctor has also given me a training programme for the swimming pool and some floor exercises which will strengthen my back, and I'm not far away from taking the brace off completely.
"I'm massively disappointed not to be going to Ypres, because it's such a fantastic event. I hope to have another chance at contesting it in the future. The priority for me right now is to get back to full fitness, so I can score more podiums and rally wins in the years ahead."
On the subject of the next event for Wilks and the Skoda Motorsport UK Fabia, a spokesperson said: "We have decided not to compete in the Geko Ypres Rally and will continue to monitor Guy's progress closely in order to decide on his next IRC event."
Wilks and the team would like to thank the doctors and staff at the Multiple Sclerosis Society Therapy Centre in Middlesbrough for their help.