Gold Coast rally driver Chris Atkinson showed maturity and confidence at the third round of the Asia-Pacific rally Championship held in the forests around Rotorua in New Zealand over the past two days. Atkinson, the defending Super 1600 ...
Gold Coast rally driver Chris Atkinson showed maturity and confidence at the third round of the Asia-Pacific rally Championship held in the forests around Rotorua in New Zealand over the past two days.
Atkinson, the defending Super 1600 Asia-Pacific Champion, had to overcome a puncture and extremely slippery conditions that didn't suit his lesser powered front wheel drive Suzuki throughout the event.
"In the opening stages yesterday we made the wrong tyre choice then today we got a puncture in the first stage costing us a couple of minutes," said Atkinson.
Fighting back throughout the final day Atkinson had sealed the class victory by mid way through the day. Knowing this he and his co-driver and brother Ben focused on improving their stage times on the corresponding event last year.
Given the experience that they have gained over the past 12 months competing across the globe it was not suprising to see that the pair smashed the corresponding stage times from last year.
"We were beating our stage times from last year by quite a bit which was very encouraging, it shows how far we have come in just a year," said Atkinson.
When the pair crossed the line today they claimed another Super 1600 class win and finished a creditable 12th outright defeating many of the more powerful four-wheel drive turbo cars.
The event was won by Karamit Singh ahead of Armin Kremer, Mark Tapper and Katsuhiko Taguchi who had Australian Mark Stacey as his co-driver.
The Atkinson pair will next be in action in two weeks time at the next round of the Globalstar Australian Rally Championship in the Coopers Rally SA over July 31-August 1.
HELLA BATTERY TOWN RALLY OF ROTORUA
RESULTS - TOP 15
1. Karamit Singh (Proton) 2:42:56.8
2. Armin Kremer (Mitsubishi) +1:50.6
3. Mark Tapper (Mitsubishi) +2:34.4
4. Katsuhiko Taguchi(Mitsubishi) +2:59.7
5. Chris West (Subaru) +4:33.6
6. Tom Pritchard (Mitsubishi) +6:39.6
7. Dean Summer (Mitsubishi) +7:31.2
8. Hiroshi Yanagisawa (Subaru) +7:45.5
9. Nico Caldarola (Subaru) +7:49.0
10. Geoff Arygle (Mitsubishi) +8:01.8
11. Grant Barger (Mitsubishi) +9:34.0
12. Chris Atkinson (Suzuki) +10:14.7
13. Deborah Kibble (Mitsubishi) +11:24.7
14. Brett Martin (Mitsubishi) +12:06.0
15. Daniel Palau (Mitsubishi) +14:57.2