ARC: Chris Atkinson Tasmania preview

In the opening two rounds of the Globalstar Australian Rally Championship Queensland driver Chris Atkinson has set the tracks alight with his blistering pace. The 24-year-old is hoping the scene will be no different when the third round of the...

In the opening two rounds of the Globalstar Australian Rally Championship Queensland driver Chris Atkinson has set the tracks alight with his blistering pace.

The 24-year-old is hoping the scene will be no different when the third round of the Championship kicks off later this week at Subaru Safari Tasmania in the Southern Forests near the scenic Huon Valley and Geeveston.

Following his outright speed with his brother Ben as his co-driver throughout the opening two rounds that included a home victory earlier this month, Atkinson has been rewarded as the number one seed and the first car on the road in Tasmania.

Seeding is conducted by ascertaining the speeds of all drivers, relative to all other drivers, and ranking them in order of speed. This is calculated on the basis of stage times set in Globalstar Australian Rally Championship events, over a driver's last three rounds.

"It is a rewarding feeling knowing that the speed we have shown is being noticed, what is even better is that Tasmania is the best rally to be the first car on the road as the roads are hard and compact," said Atkinson.

"I am heading into this rally just like any other, push as hard as we can. Being the first car on the road will make no difference to my approach."

Atkinson's victory in the Caloundra Falken Tyres Rally Queensland was the first by a local driver since 1991 and also etched him into the record books as the youngest winner of a round in the Championship.

The victory was even sweeter for Atkinson after being excluded from the opening round due a mechanical technicality, it also elevated the Gold Coast driver and elevated him into sixth in the Championship.

"While the opening round was disappointing it made me hungrier for success in Queensland, I think my stage times and results last round showed my desire for success," said Atkinson.

"I'm now taking one rally at a time and looking to continue my movement up the order in the Championship, there is still a long way to go and anything can happen.

"In Queensland several guys had problems costing them time, we had a dream run. At anytime this can all change, you always have to be on top of your game and remain focused."

The 2004 Subaru Safari Tasmania has attracted the largest amount of entries with in excess of 56 cars entered for the 12th running of the event.

The event begins on Friday at Parliament House in Salamanca Place before heading to the Southern Forests for two day's competition over a total of 17 stages covering a 206.27 competitive kilometres.

Simon Evans leads the Globastar Australian Rally Championship after the opening two rounds on 65 points followed by Cody Crocker 15 points in arrears and Scott Pedder on 44. Dean Herridge and Neal Bates are tied for fourth on 40 points followed by Atkinson (37).

-ar-

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