Guy Wilks says his one-day test ahead of next week's Rally of Scotland will be key to his hopes of winning the final round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
Wilks has switched to a Skoda Fabia S2000 for the Nov. 19-21 event, but will only get to drive the Skoda UK-backed car four days before the start of the rally. He refused to concede that his chief rival on the rally – this year's IRC champion Kris Meeke – held all the aces, having spent a season in his Peugeot and having driven on half of the Rally of Scotland stages before.
"There's no doubt, the mileage we do on the test on Monday is going to be key to the event," Wilks said. "The setup of this car is very good anyway, I've got no questions about that, but we still have to fine-tune the car and make it as fast as possible before the rally.
"Don't forget, there's no shakedown on this event, we'll be going straight from the test to the recce to the rally, so we're literally straight into it."
While Wilks has competed in Scotland in his career before, he has never visited the Perthshire and Stirlingshire stages which will be used on Britain's inaugural round of the IRC.
"I don't like any one of the stages any more than the others," said Wilks, "because I don't know any of them. I've never been there before. Yes, Kris has been there more recently than me, but all that does is inspire me more. We've had this kind of situation – where one of us knows stages better than the other – before and it doesn't make any difference. If you can write good [pace] notes, you can write good notes.
"I know I'm going to feel comfortable in these stages, they're in the British Isles, where I've done a lot of rallying, and I'm going to know what to expect. All I can do is as much as time allows on the test and in the recce. This is going to be a fantastic rally. Neither Kris nor I have a championship to worry about: It's going to be flat-out from the start. I just hope the rally lives up to the billing some people are going to be giving it."