Wilson Sr: Matthew deserved top five in Portugal
"He has worked on his pace over the weekend"
Matthew Wilson’s father Malcolm says his son’s run to fifth place on Vodafone Rally de Portugal last week was fitting reward for his efforts behind the wheel of his M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC.
Wilson, who was embroiled in a battle with factory Ford driver Mikko Hirvonen for fourth on the final morning, drove without error on the demanding gravel event to record his first fifth-place finish since the Jordan Rally last season.
Afterwards Malcolm Wilson, the boss of the M-Sport operation, said: “Matthew has worked on his pace over the weekend and his top five finish is well deserved.”
Wilson Jr’s result in Portugal eclipsed his previous best finish in the country of sixth recorded last year. It also made up for his retirement from fourth place on Rally Guanajuato Mexico earlier this month due to an electrical fault.
“We found a comfortable pace on the first stage on Sunday morning but then we backed off because I just didn’t want to take any risks,” said the 24-year-old Wilson. “If we’d known Mikko had problems on the same stage, then we probably would have pushed harder but it was difficult to know how to play it.”
Wilson revealed that he thought back to his crash on the final day in Portugal in 2009 during the last day of the event this year, which also contributed to a more cautious approach on the closing stages.
“I think the incident in 2009 was on the back of my mind when we were running fifth on the final day and then I crashed but I’m happy with how everything has gone generally,” the Briton continued. “We were able to increase the pace when we needed to and then [on Saturday] we had the luxury of playing things a bit cooler after Henning [Solberg] had his puncture.”
Wilson and co-driver Scott Martin, currently seventh in the WRC standings, are still chasing the funding to complete the second half of the season.
“The result has made me really determined to try and secure more WRC rounds later on in the season and this is what Scott and I will be concentrating on over the next couple of months,” added Wilson.
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