ARC: Chris Atkinson Queensland preview

Atkinson Fired up for Home State Rally this Weekend If ever there was motivation for Gold Coast rally driver Chris Atkinson to prove a point in the Globalstar Australian Rally Championship (ARC) it is this weekend in his home state rally at ...

Atkinson Fired up for Home State Rally this Weekend

If ever there was motivation for Gold Coast rally driver Chris Atkinson to prove a point in the Globalstar Australian Rally Championship (ARC) it is this weekend in his home state rally at Caloundra's Falken Tyres Rally Queensland.

With his co-driver and brother Ben the pair all but dominated the opening round of the ARC aboard their Atkinson Racing Prodrive built Subaru WRX Sti in Western Australia crossing the line first and provisionally becoming the youngest ever winners of a round in the Championship. However, two weeks after the event they were stripped of the win due to a minor technical infringement, making the pair even hungrier for success in their home state rally this weekend.

"There is no doubt I had the highlight and low light of my career at the same event after winning my first round of the ARC only to have it taken away from me by something that was out of my control," said Chris Atkinson.

"Although it was disappointing it has motivated me and set us the challenge of climbing up the Championship points table for the remainder of the year, starting this weekend."

While many of the competitors have not competed since the opening round of the Championship in March the Atkinson has remained fresh by competing in events across Australia, New Zealand, China and New Caledonia

As the defending Asia Pacific Super 1600 Champion he began their Championship defense in scintillating style dominating the class at the Subaru Rally of Canberra earlier this month and then continued that form last weekend in New Caledonia finishing third outright and again dominating the Super 1600 class.

In the two months since the opening round of the ARC he has competed in the Rally of New Zealand where he showed impressive pace all weekend and also dominated the second round of the Chinese National Championship to take a comprehensive victory.

While he may have missed last year's Queensland event due to their commitments in the Asia Pacific Championship in his first attempt at the event in 2002 he finished an amazing sixth outright and won the privateers class.

"In 2002 we were still very new to the sport but were learning very quickly and won the privateers class, now with a lot more experience it would be a great feeling to win your home state rally and there is no doubt that is what were are aiming for," said Atkinson.

"We proved in Perth that we are not just in the ARC to make up the numbers we want to be one of the front runners in the Championship and by knowing a lot of the roads in this weekend's rally I am confident of again being right up the top of the time sheets.

"There are some subtle changes to the some of the roads used in the rally since we last competed but overall it is a similar course and I can't wait to get out there."

The 2004 Caloundra Falken Tyres Rally Queensland begins on Friday June 4 with a festive official start in the heart of Caloundra on Friday night followed by the opening heat in the surrounding areas of the hinterland township of Imbil, in the Mary Valley over 114 competitive kilometres over nine special stages.

Sunday's heat two will be run over 104 competitive kilometres over six competitive special stages finishing at Kings Beach.

In total there will be 73 cars in action over the weekend.

Entering this weekend's second round of the Globalstar Australian Rally Championship Simon Evans leads on 37 points ahead of Scott Pedder one point in arrears and Neil Bates on 26.

-ar-

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Chris Atkinson , Simon Evans , Scott Pedder