Wilks takes on Rally of 10,000 corners

Wilks takes on Rally of 10,000 cornersFrom Peugeot Press [ 12/05/2011 ].
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Just under a month after their last rally in Grand Canaria, Peugeot UK’s Guy Wilks and Phil Pugh will resume their IRC campaign today on the Mediterranean island of Corsica.

The rally known by fans as the Rally of 10,000 Corners due to the abundance of twists and turns on the island’s challenging mountain roads joins the IRC for the first time in 2011.

The rally will start in the town of Calvi on Corsica’s northwest coast at 13:00hrs local time today and will include fourteen tarmac special stages over a competitive distance of 320 kilometres.

Today, Guy and Phil will contest two runs over the 27.53-km Le Fangu-Notre Dame de la Serra stage, which winds around the Calvi Coast and is the longest of the event. After an overnight halt in Calvi, they will then head to stages around Corte on Friday with three repeated stage runs split by service halts at the town’s aerodrome. The final day’s action on Saturday consists of three repeated stages and runs around Ajaccio in the south west of the island where the first car is due to finish at approximately 21:35hrs local time.

The first Tour de Corse rally took place in 1956 and it quickly established itself as one of the world’s most iconic rallies. It has over the years, however, developed a fearsome reputation with drivers and co-drivers as the stages are narrow and lined with unforgiving rock faces on one side and steep drops on the other.

Guy and Phil will be starting the rally with the aim to score good championship points and put their Peugeot 207 S2000 onto the top step of the podium, repeating the historic successes of Bruno Saby in a Peugeot 205 T16 in 1986 and the legendary Gilles Panizzi who won the rally in a Peugeot 206 WRC in 2000 and 2002.

“I’ve already visited Corsica, so I have a little knowledge of what the roads are like,” said Guy Wilks. “This will only be my third outing in the Peugeot 207 S2000. However, thanks to the Rally Gran Canaria and also to my test programme, I have learned a great deal about how to drive the car on asphalt. I’ve made progress, which is why I am feeling quietly confident.”

A total of 56 crews will set off at the start of the rally today. Peugeot will have a strong presence at the front of the rally as Ari Vatanen will be driving the “zero” car a Peugeot 207 RC Rallye with his son Max sitting alongside him.

The 1981 World Championship-winning Finn has made an indelible mark on Peugeot’s motor sport history. Peugeot and Ari Vatanen have enjoyed close bonds for many years, and their record together includes four Paris-Dakar wins, a Pikes Peak win, and a long list of World Rally Championship successes, including his memorable fight-back to claim the 1985 Rallye Monte-Carlo.

Miss France (Laury Thilleman) will also be flying the flag for Peugeot as she gets a taste of the event in the “00” car, a Peugeot RCZ.