IMPROVING ATKINSON FIGHTS ON IN CORSICA Australian Chris Atkinson has once again proven his determination to succeed with an impressive improvement aboard his Subaru Impreza WRC throughout the second day of Rallye de France, round 14 of the...
IMPROVING ATKINSON FIGHTS ON IN CORSICA
Australian Chris Atkinson has once again proven his determination to succeed with an impressive improvement aboard his Subaru Impreza WRC throughout the second day of Rallye de France, round 14 of the World Rally Championship, in Corsica today.
After a disappointing opening day where he succumb to mechanical problems Atkinson and his West Australian co-driver Glenn Macneall returned under Superrally regulations today.
Throughout the first two stages of the day (36.24km Vico -- Col De Sarzoggiu and 26.20km Ucciani -- Bastelica) Atkinson began to feel his way around the rough and slippery tarmac roads that twist and turn throughout the Corsican mountains setting times just outside the top ten.
"Following yesterday's disappointing start it was good to get out there again this morning to get some more experience on tarmac," said Atkinson.
"Today was basically the start of a new rally for us with the focus firmly fixed on improving throughout the day. We simply felt our way during the opening couple of stages. I made a couple of small mistakes but in general I'm happy with the way we're progressing."
Atkinson's improvement in the second tarmac event of his career continued during the repeated stages this afternoon with the 25-year-old improving his times on the morning pass by almost a second per kilometre across the pair of stages. The times he set during these stages were less than a second per kilometre behind his Subaru team-mate Petter Solberg who is currently in third place.
"Obviously today was much better than yesterday. It was good to get back out there and use the final two days as testing and learning more about the characteristics of the car while furthering our experience on roads that we haven't got much experience on," said Atkinson.
"Our times continually improved throughout the day while setting a steady pace and not taking too many risks. We made a couple of small mistakes throughout the day but nothing major and we are learning all the time and it's going to help us when we come back here again.
"The weather in Corsica is traditionally very fickle and you can get caught out in the changing conditions with tyre choice being vital but so far it has been fine and hopefully it will remain that way for tomorrow."
Dual World Champion Sebastien Loeb continues to dominate his home event with a one and a half minute lead over his nearest rival Toni Gardemeister. Atkinson has clawed his way back from 38th position at the start of the day to finish the day 21st.
Tomorrow's final leg consists of four stages on roads that are more flowing and open than the stages contested during the opening two days.