Atkinson Checks into Monte Carlo Australian Chris Atkinson will be a part of the Subaru World Rally Team contingent at the opening round of the World Rally Championship (WRC) in Monte Carlo this weekend. While he may not be competing in the...
Atkinson Checks into Monte Carlo
Australian Chris Atkinson will be a part of the Subaru World Rally Team contingent at the opening round of the World Rally Championship (WRC) in Monte Carlo this weekend.
While he may not be competing in the first round of the Championship Atkinson and his co-driver Glenn Macneall completed the reconnaissance of the Monte Carlo course as a part of the preparation for their Championship debut with the team in Sweden next month.
"Our main focus this week is to get settled into the team during an event and get more acquainted with everyone," said Atkinson.
"Completing the recce' gives me a good idea of some of the conditions that I will expect throughout the coming months on a variety of surfaces because this event is a bit of lottery having both ice and tarmac in different sections."
It is planned that Atkinson will get his first test aboard the Subaru Impreza WRC later this month.
"It is a big step from a Group N to a WRC car, there is a lot more technical knowledge that comes into play when you drive a WRC car. I have always had a good understanding on the technical side of the sport but with a WRC car it is a case of taking that technical knowledge to a whole new level," said Atkinson.
"One of the first things I noticed when I went for a ride with Petter (Solberg) and also Stephane (Sarrazin) at a recent test was the downforce produced by the aerodynamics allowing a very high corner speed.
"Glenn's experience in World Championship events will become very valuable to me as we both continually strive to learn and improve.
"I've always said that you can never stop learning and this year I will be working closely with my engineers and asking as many questions as possible to ensure that I can achieve the best results possible."
Since the announcement last month that he would join the Subaru World Rally Team Atkinson has been adapting well with the change from the sunny surrounds of the Gold Coast to the near freezing temperatures of Europe.
"Suprisingly the weather difference hasn't bothered me that much at all, yeah it is cold over here but I think I have been able to adapt to it quite well," said Atkinson.
"Despite the cold conditions I have been focusing on my maintaining my fitness level and training, it is vital for me to be at 100% on every occasion I get behind the wheel, no matter what the conditions."
Atkinson's Subaru team mates Petter Solberg and Stephane Sarrazin begin their 2005 campaign at the 73rd Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo on Friday with the first of three legs beginning at 7:00am (5:00pm AEDST).
A total of 34 cars are entered for the opening round of the 16-round World Rally Championship.
Reigning World Champion Sebastien Loeb has won the previous two events held in Monte Carlo with Subaru's Tommi Makinen claiming the win in 2002.