ARC: Chris Atkinson Forest Rally penalty

Atkinson has the brakes put on him In the opening round of the Globalstar Australian Rally Championship Chris Atkinson put in a sterling display of rally driving to provisionally become the youngest winner of a Super Series Round. During post...

Atkinson has the brakes put on him

In the opening round of the Globalstar Australian Rally Championship Chris Atkinson put in a sterling display of rally driving to provisionally become the youngest winner of a Super Series Round.

During post rally scrutineering the Subaru driven by Chris with his brother Ben as Co-driver had the brake's impounded for a modification that appeared not to comply with the strict Group N regulations of the FIA.

"The car is straight from Group N specs overseas and the part that is being questioned is a safety enhancing part rather than a performance enhancing," said Atkinson on the day after the Forest Rally.

Following communication between CAMS officials, the FIA, the Atkinson team and Prodrive, who prepared the car prior to being sent to Australia, a hearing last night was held to finalise the matter.

The decision made by CAMS was that of the opinion that although the part in question didn't enhance the performance of the car it didn't comply with the strict Group N regulations and a penalty would have to be imposed.

The penalty imposed on the Atkinson pair was exclusion from the results of the rally and suspension from competing for 14 days from the date of the offence, this was the minimum penalty that could have been applied under the circumstances of failing to comply with scrutineer regulations.

"It is very disappointing but I know that we done a great job all weekend to be as fast as we were and it wasn't because our brakes were better than anyone else's out there," said Atkinson.

"I am led to believe that we were not the only car to have this system on our brakes and the majority of the top runners have a very similar system as a safety measure but we are the guinea pigs for some reason.

"We are not going to let it get us down, it may end up costing us the Championship but we will fight on and focus on our goals for the year.

At this stage the Atkinson's are yet to decide if they will appeal the decision made by CAMS.

The Atkinson boys fly out to New Zealand on Sunday where they will make their debut in the World Rally Championship in the Rally of New Zealand.

-ar-

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Chris Atkinson