Double British Rally Champion Guy Wilks will showcase the Twingo Renaultsport R2 Evolution on British asphalt, taking the wheel of Renault Sport Technologies’ own Twingo Evo on the Todds Leap International Rally NI, part of the Ulster Rally.
The car has already made an impression on gravel in the UK at the start of the 2012 MSA British Rally Championship season, when former works driver Justin Dale gave it its world debut in the forests near Bournemouth on Rallye Sunseeker.
Despite both Wilks’ British titles coming at the wheel of four wheel drive works machinery, he has vast experience of front wheel drive cars, cutting his teeth in the BRC’s one makes series, before taking several Super 1600 wins both here and in the Junior World Rally Championship.
The County Durham driver will be co-driven by the vastly experienced David Moynihan, a partnership that has already proved itself, the pair taking three podium places en route to Wilks’ second BRC title.
The car will be run alongside the Twingo Renaultsport Trophy UK by series technical partners Monster Sport Europe, again a partnership with Wilks that goes back to the JWRC days.
Wilks has already tested the car briefly on tarmac at a Twingo Trophy customer day, pronouncing himself very happy with its power and performance:
“It is a great little car,” he said, “with plenty of grunt and nicely balanced. I think we can improve its performance with a test on some bumpy tarmac before the event. Then we can show it off to its very best against the current crop of BRC hotshots.”
“The concept of going from its little R1 brother to learn the events before moving up to this level of performance is a great one too. A similar one-make series route to the one that I took in rallying.”
Twingo Renaultsport Trophy youngster Chris Ingram had already decided that the Evo was the way forward, quickly upgrading his own car for Bulldog International Rally North Wales. But at just seventeen, he is still gaining experience on the BRC’s events and while he has undoubted talent, a new car, new co-driver and new events means that he is still getting to grips with the Twingo Evo.
Todds Leap Rally NI is based in the town of Antrim and uses closed public roads in Counties Antrim and Londonderry, starting on Friday 17th August at 12.45 and finishing on Saturday at 17.40. Rally HQ, the service area, start and finish of the event are all centred on Junction One International Outlet Shopping Centre on the edge of Antrim town.