Wilks raced in two rounds of WRX last year; he’ll drive a Volkswagen Polo RX for his own team in 2017
Sam Sheehan
22 February 2017

Britain's Guy Wilks will contest in the full 2017 World Rallycross (WRX) Championship driving a Volkswagen Polo RX.

The 36-year-old will race in all 12 rounds with his own independent outfit, which is backed by energy drink company Loco. He'll be the series' sole British driver.

Wilks's Polo RX was driven by Johan Kristoffersson to second place in the championship last year. It produces 552bhp from its 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine and can accelerate from 0-62mph in about 2.0sec.

"The Polo we’re using pretty much got into every final last year, so it's more than capable," Durham-born Wilks told Autocar. "This puts a bit of pressure on me, but this option also means we can do our own thing [unlike manufacturer-backed teams]."

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The Loco-backed car will be one of two Polo variants running in 2017. The other is a new version being used by three-time champ Petter Solberg and his PSRX team, which benefits from technology first developed for the stillborn Polo WRC car.

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Wilks suggested his team would try and integrate some of the new model's technology into its used Polo RXs. Just one of the two cars will run in testing, with the second due to turn its first wheel in anger at the season-opening round in Barcelona on 1 April.

"All the parts are away for a rebuild as we speak," said Wilks. "It’s a big job to turn around a car that’s going to compete at this level in a world championship."

Wilks targets getting into the final as much as possible in 2017, with dreams of mounting a serious challenge the year after. "I've only done four full world rallycross events, so I don't think we can think about a title challenge just yet," he continued. "But anything's possible - we've seen underdogs win before."

Wilks, who has won a British rally title and ran in the World Rally Championship (WRC) between 2002 and 2008, drove a JRM World Rallycross Team Mini Countryman at two WRX rounds last year. His best WRX result was at the 2015 Lydden Hill round, where he reached the final race but was denyed a top three result after suffering a puncture.

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