GUY Wilks has stated his intention to mix it with the big boys of the World Rally Championship, sooner rather than later.

Wilks, 24 and from Darlington, is one of the hottest properties in the Junior World Rally Championship.

The Suzuki driver is tipped as Britain's best hope for the sport in the coming years and has sent a message both to his team and rival manufacturers.

Wilks' Japanese employers don't currently run a car in the WRC but have entered their crop of Ignis' in every round of the competition this season. The aim of that is to give Wilks and his team-mates worldwide experience in the event they launch a fully-fledged assault on the championship.

Wilks is currently second in the JWRC standings, a point behind leader Kris Meeke having notched a second, a tenth and a third so far this season in the events that count towards that championship.

"It is really dependent on Suzuki at the moment (what happens next)," said Wilks. "That's the team I drive for along with MSE (Monster Sport Europe). It's one of those things - chicken and egg type thing.

"It's so difficult. Kris (Meeke) has spoken openly about it and I have as well. We feel we are more than ready to move up to the WRC. I think we have learned a hell of a lot in the Junior WRC and I'm confident in my own abilities that I can go up there and do a good job.

"But, obviously, a good rider has to have a good horse. I feel the time is right and I think you have to try not to get stagnant in one formula. I don't want to hang around too long in JWRC so I would like to get up as soon as possible."

Published: 31/05/2005