The Fightback Begins for Atkinson Queenslander Chris Atkinson started his fight back towards the Globalstar Australian Rally Championship in stylish fashion throughout the opening day the Caloundra Falken Tyres Rally Queensland. After...
The Fightback Begins for Atkinson
Queenslander Chris Atkinson started his fight back towards the Globalstar Australian Rally Championship in stylish fashion throughout the opening day the Caloundra Falken Tyres Rally Queensland.
After finishing first in the opening round of the Championship in West Australia but losing the win on a mechanical technicality Atkinson is focused on amassing Championship points this weekend.
Driving the Atkinson Racing Pro-drive built Subaru WRX Sti Atkinson and his co-driver and brother Ben set the Imbil forest alight this afternoon winning four stages of the eight stages held today.
The pair consistently closed in on the lead that fellow Subaru driver Cody Crocker had amassed during the opening two stages of the day.
"We were probably too cautious over the opening couple of stages, they were very tricky and pushing too hard could have ruined the rally," said Atkinson.
By the end of the fourth stage Atkinson had closed the gap to the leader to 13-seconds as he settled back into the characteristics and power of the Subaru after his recent drives in the Super 1600 class.
Continuing to take time away from Crocker's lead Atkinson set the pace but was unable to close the gap over the remaining stages finishing the opening leg 9.9 seconds in arrears of his Subaru stablemate.
"We took a fair bit of time out of the lead this afternoon but the time we lost on the opening couple of stages was just too much," said Atkinson.
"Overall we are happy to be where we are, both for ourselves and earning points for Subaru.
"With many of this afternoon's stages being included in the second leg tomorrow I am confident we can take the challenge to Cody."
Finishing behind Atkinson in third place was Simon Evans followed by Dean Herridge and Juha Kangas.
Tomorrow's second heat will be run over 104 competitive kilometres across six competitive special stages finishing at Kings Beach.
Caloundra Falken Tyres Rally Queensland
Heat One - Top Five
1 Cody Crocker (Subaru)
2 Chris Atkinson (Subaru) +9.3
3 Simon Evans (Toyota) +34.8
4 Dean Herridge (Subaru) +58.8
5 Juha Kangas (Mitsubishi) +1:33.9