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Matthew_Wilson

Matthew Wilson

Matthew Wilson (born 29 January, 1987) is a World Rally Championship driver from Cockermouth in Cumbria, England. He is the son of M-Sport boss and former WRC driver, Malcolm Wilson.

Career

Wilson competed in his first rally, the 2003 Malcolm Wilson Rally, as co-driver to his father, and together they won the event. His first WRC event was the Wales Rally GB in 2004, in which he finished in 13th place overall. He was one of only six drivers and co-drivers selected for the MSA British Rally Elite training scheme designed for young British drivers in 2005, and became the youngest ever winner of a British Rally Championship round in the same year when he won the Trackrod Rally aged 18 years, 8 months and 5 days. However, in April 2005, on a test day for the International Rally of Wales, he slid off the road on a sixth-gear corner whilst leading the event. He broke his right wrist and left forearm, as well as damaging his right knee. His co-driver, Scott Martin, also broke his left leg in the accident. Even now, almost two years on, when Matthew flexes his right knee, the screw that was fitted to assist the healing process is visible. When Wilson returned to rallying four months later, he finished second overall on the Gleanor Speyside Stages Rally. Despite months out of action due to the injury, he still finished seventh overall in the 2005 British Rally Championship driving for Eddie Stobart Motorsport, scoring 38 points. Other events in 2005 included winning the Malcolm Wilson Rally, the McRae Stages Rally (a round of the Scottish Rally Championship) and the inaugural Rally Ireland, where he competed with current co-driver Michael Orr for the first time.

2006 was Wilson's first full season in the WRC, as a driver for the Stobart VK M-Sport Ford team. He competed in all 16 rallies, and became the youngest ever world rally driver to win a stage (the Cordoba Stadium superspecial stage on Rally Argentina), and score championship points - when he finished eighth overall on that event. This record was later broken by Andreas Mikkelsen. He finished 28th in the season’s standings with one point, but was classified as a finisher in every event, an achievement no other driver managed in 2006.

It is well known in rallying that Malcolm Wilson has a five-year plan for Matthew, starting in 2006 and running right through until 2010. 2006 was intended as a 'learning' year, and Matthew was told to finish every rally, taking points as a bonus. In 2007, Jari-Matti Latvala and Henning Solberg were nominated for Stobart's manufacturer points, taking some pressure off Wilson and co-driver Orr. Wilson finished 11th in the driver's world championship with 11 points. His best result was fourth at the 2007 Rally Japan.

2008 began with an outing Wilson referred to as "moderate" - he finished 10th in Monte Carlo, scoring no points in drivers' nor manufacturers championship. It was his best result here so far; furthermore he had to adjust to new car, tyres and new-old co-driver, Scott Martin. In Sweden Wilson Jr. was aiming for a top-ten finish but even though his pace was good enough to achieve that, mechanical problems with the throttle forced him to retire from fifth place less than 30 km before the finish.. Wilson scored his first points of the season in México with a sixth place finish.

In September 2008, Wilson took part in the Colin McRae Forest Stages Rally, a round of the Scottish Rally Championship centred in Perth in Scotland. He was one of a number of WRC celebrity drivers to take part in the event in memory of McRae, who died in 2007. He went on to win the event comfortably in a 2005 spec Focus WRC.

References

External links

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