Australian Chris Atkinson has made a cautious approach to the opening day of his tarmac rallying debut in the OMV Rallye Deutschland in Germany today. With this weekend being Atkinson's first event on tarmac aboard a World Rally spec Subaru ...
Australian Chris Atkinson has made a cautious approach to the opening day of his tarmac rallying debut in the OMV Rallye Deutschland in Germany today.
With this weekend being Atkinson's first event on tarmac aboard a World Rally spec Subaru Impreza the young Australian and his West Australian co-driver Glenn Macneall controlled their pace carefully to gain experience of the specialist conditions in the forests and vineyards of the Mosel valley.
"For me today was all about feeling my way and basically getting to the end without too many problems which is pretty much what we achieved," said Atkinson.
"We had a couple of minor problems with the turbo not working efficiently in the morning and a vibration in the car during the afternoon but I remained cautious throughout the day and ensured that I got as many k's under our belt as possible.
"I have never driven on roads like this before, we had no real problems throughout the day, I simply ran at a conservative pace. While I know I could run quicker, I don't think I need to go out and do that on our first event.
"Tomorrow I will work on a few things but not take any risks before looking to build on the experience and hopefully increase my pace a little bit on the final day."
Defending World Champion, and three-time winner in Germany, Sebastien Loeb continued to shine by winning five of the six stages held during the opening day. His Citroen team-mate Francois Duval is second ahead of Marcus Gronholm and Atkinson's Subaru team-mate Petter Solberg. Atkinson is 15th.
The rally continues tomorrow with seven stages across 145.94 competitive kilometres on a mixture of public roads and military ranges, including the formidable Baumholder Panzerplatte section. The Superspecial stage also takes place on Saturday, in the town of St. Wendel.