Nancy Knapp Schilke, WRC Correspondent
The first event after the FIA World Rally Championship’s summer break will see the return of the Australian driver Chris Atkinson, but he and his co-driver Stephane Prevot will compete for the first time in a Citroen DS3. The duo were selected to take on the challenge in Finland for the Qatar World Rally Team.
“We are really looking forward to racing with the Qatar World Rally Team,” said the Aussie.
Benoit Nogier, Head of Citroen Racing Technologies explained: “Ever since Chris Atkinson took part in the 2009 Rally Ireland in a C4 WRC, we have kept in touch and maintained good relations with him.”
I can’t wait to test the car to share my feeling for it with the team...
Due to his past years in the WRC, Atkinson is familiar with the high-speed Rally Finland, where the cars really do fly high up in the air. The opportunity presented itself due to the commitment of Nasser Al Attiyah for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Atkinson commented, “Competing in the best rally in the Championship in the best WRC is a superb opportunity and I can’t wait to test the car to share my feeling for it with the team and give them my initial feedback. We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but we have got everything it takes to go after a good result here.”
It will not be the Australian’s first event in a Citroen -- he finished fifth for the Citroën Junior Team in the 2009 Rally Ireland in a Citroen C4 -- and he has remained active in rally events, including Rally Mexico this year for the Monster World Rally Team in Mexico.
He will have full support from Citroen Racing Technologies. Nogier added, “As Nasser’s Citroën DS3 WRC was available for this rally, we offered Chris the chance to lease the car and compete for the Qatar World Rally Team. We are therefore very pleased to have him back with us in one of our Customer Racing teams for one of the championship’s flagship events.”