Matthew Wilson will get behind the wheel of a factory Ford Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRC at Rallyday tomorrow (Saturday).
The event is the UK's premier rally car show, and takes place at the Castle Combe Circuit. Wilson's participation means that both of the country's top World Rally Championship drivers will be in attendance, with Kris Meeke there with his Mini WRC Team.
Wilson will be fresh from his career-best-equalling fourth place finish on Rally Australia last weekend for the M-Sport Stobart Ford team. The 24-year-old currently lies seventh overall in the drivers' standings.
“I'm delighted to be attending this year's Rallyday at Castle Combe,” said Wilson. “I was at 2009's event alongside my Dad and both the spectators and the atmosphere were incredible.
“As a British rally driver I always like to be able to support rally events such as Castle Combe but sometimes it can be difficult with my busy schedule competing in the WRC. It'll be great to attend this year's event with the new-for-2011 Ford Fiesta RS WRC – I can't wait to entertain the spectators with our car.”
Rallyday organiser Darin Frow said: “I’m really pleased to see Matt back at Rallyday this year. He was hugely entertaining when he drove the Ford Focus RS WRC at Rallyday 2009, and I’m sure he’ll have everyone cheering again when he's behind the wheel of the new Ford Fiesta RS WRC.
“In fact it will be a very special Rallyday for us seeing him alongside Kris in the Mini John Cooper Works WRC – two of the UK’s top WRC drivers in two current WRC cars!”
Another top British rally driver at Rallyday will be David Higgins, who won this year's Rally America title for Subaru Rally Team USA.
“After all the years Rallyday has been going this will actually be the first time I have had the chance to go,” said Higgins. “My last five or six years has mainly been taken up competing in events outside the UK – in either America or China. It will actually be quite nice to be involved in something in the UK for a change.
“It is so easy when you are away so much competing overseas to fall out of touch with the British motorsport scene, but everybody loves watching the historic cars and seeing some of the old stuff – and obviously it will also be good to see the new Mini John Cooper Works WRC car at this year's Rallyday as well the all-new Fiesta RS WRC. I am just looking forward to the whole day.”
Other rally names already confirmed include ex-WRC driver Harri Rovanpera (who will drive MML Sports' new R4 Mitsubishi Lancer EvolutionX) and former British Rally Champions Jimmy McRae, Russell Brookes and Gwyndaf Evans. Top Gear's former Stig, Ben Collins will also be there to raise funds and awareness for the Race2Recovery campaign, which aims to compete in, and finish, the 2013 Dakar Rally and in the process, raise £2m for wounded British servicemen and their families.
Organiser Brian Stubbings commented: “We are very pleased with how everything has come together and can't wait to see all the different cars, new and old, at the show. Having two current WRC teams at the show is absolutely incredible. There is certainly more to see and do at the show than ever before plus we are very excited about the dedicated 4×4 Rally Raid Zone, which should be a real hit with the spectators. We'd like to thanks all the drivers, teams and traders for their support and wish them an enjoyable Rallyday 2011.”
Spectator tickets for Rallyday 2011 cost £20 per adult on the gate. Accompanied children under 16 can enter for free.
For more information visit: www.rallyday.com