WRC

Swedish Rally: Chris Atkinson preview

Testing Time For Atkinson in The Snow Australian Chris Atkinson continued his preparations for his debut with the Subaru World Rally Team in Sweden today when he completed an intensive day of testing aboard the Impreza WRC2004. While the ...

Testing Time For Atkinson in The Snow

Australian Chris Atkinson continued his preparations for his debut with the Subaru World Rally Team in Sweden today when he completed an intensive day of testing aboard the Impreza WRC2004.

While the temperatures dropped to minus four throughout the day Atkinson's confidence continued to rise as he felt more comfortable behind the wheel.

"It has been an awesome day, it is good to finally be able get out into the forest and test the car at speed," said Atkinson.

"With each run I completed I began to feel more comfortable in the car and have more confidence to push harder. One thing that I have learnt is that in these cars you need to have the confidence in your driving to make them react correctly, if your too cautious the car doesn't always respond the way it should."

The event is not only Atkinson's first with the Subaru World Rally Team but also the first time that he has competed on snow. However Atkinson believes that the conditions are not something that will hamper him over the weekend.

"Sure the weather is a long way from what I have enjoyed on the Gold Coast but you seem to adapt to the conditions and deal with them while focusing on the job at hand," said Atkinson.

"The studded tyres we use in the snow give the car a lot of grip and it really doesn't feel too much different than driving on loose gravel."

Atkinson will complete his lead up for the Swedish Rally over the next two days when he undertakes the recce over the course to prepare the pace notes with co-driver Glenn Macneall. The pair will then partake in the shakedown on Thursday prior to crossing the start ramp in the ceremonial start later that evening before the action heads to the forest on Friday morning.

"It's been a good lead up so far, we have been having fun in the car learning together," said Atkinson.

"The rest of the week is pretty hectic with a fairly hectic workload that includes recce, shakedown and to top it all off we will be keeping a close eye on the weather forecasts for the weekend," said Atkinson.

The defending Swedish Rally Champion is Sebastien Loeb who took the win ahead of Marcus Gronholm and Solberg.

Loeb, also the defending World Champion, leads the Championship on 10 points in his Citreon by virtue of his victory in the opening round at Monte Carlo last month. Second is Ford's Toni Gardemeister (8 points) followed by Mitsubishi's Gilles Panizzi on six points.

The weather forecast for the weekend is unseasonably high with temperatures expected to reach a maximum of six degrees Celsius on Friday with a minimum of minus one degree Celsius and a chance of snow. The forecast for the remainder of the event is Saturday (Max. 5 Min -2) and Sunday (Max 2 Min -4).

-ar-

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Gilles Panizzi , Marcus Gronholm , Sébastien Loeb , Toni Gardemeister , Chris Atkinson