British driver Guy Wilks has been busy preparing for his debut with Peugeot UK. Wilks and co-driver Phil Pugh will start their first event in a Peugeot 207 S2000 on the legendary Monte Carlo Rally.
The centenary edition of the rally starts on Wednesday 19th January, finishing on Saturday 22nd January. However, Wilks' preparation for the event started before Christmas, when he and Pugh visited Kronos Racing in Belgium to see their car being built and meet their new team, following the pair's switch from Skoda UK. They are replacing Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle, who won the Intercontinental Rally Challenge at the first attempt in 2009.
The visit to Kronos was followed by a test to allow Wilks to familiarise himself with his car. However, Pugh was unable to make the test due to the disruption to flights caused by heavy snow in the UK. Xavier Panseri, co-driver to another Peugeot driver Bryan Bouffier, stood in as Guy's temporary co-driver.
This week Wilks and Pugh completed a two day test in France, enabling the team to work on setup ahead of the Monte Carlo Rally next week. Their Peugeot 207 S2000 ran in a new livery, based upon the union jack design that has adorned the car for the previous two years.
Wilks will be hoping that the preparation will pay off, so that he can give Peugeot UK their first podium finish on the Monte. If he can win the rally, Wilks will be the first British driver to win the Monte Carlo Rally for 43 years, since Vic Elford won it in a Porsche 911. In total, only five British drivers have won in Monte Carlo. If Wilks became the sixth next week, it would signal the perfect start to his relationship with Peugeot.