Atkinson Begins Maiden Rally Oz Rising Australian rally star Chris Atkinson began his first campaign in the nation's biggest rallying event, Telstra Rally Australia held in Perth, West Australian last night. With Atkinson the highest seeded...
Atkinson Begins Maiden Rally Oz
Rising Australian rally star Chris Atkinson began his first campaign in the nation's biggest rallying event, Telstra Rally Australia held in Perth, West Australian last night.
With Atkinson the highest seeded non-international competitor he was the first car on the 2.35km Gloucester Park Super Special Stage setting a time that was seventh fastest in the Group N category, a mere six-tenths of a second behind the leading Group N competitor Fumio Nutahara.
"It was far from a perfect stage, I was too tight in one of the sweepers and then too wide the next time around, then I missed a gear coming into the final turn," said Atkinson.
"I'm sure we will improve our time when we return for tomorrow night's two passes across the super special stage."
Throughout this morning's opening two stages Atkinson and his co-driver Glenn Macneall endured a mysterious engine problem that was hampering their outright speed and costing them time, in particular on the longer, faster sections.
"The car seemed to lose power after three or four kilometres costing us a fair bit of time," said Atkinson.
"In between stages we checked out the intercooler and the problem appeared to be in the float levels, hopefully it is solved now."
Throughout the next pair of stages Atkinson was back on the pace to set the fastest time in the Group N category on stage five. His time was seventh outright and only four seconds behind the WRC Focus of Anthony Warmold.
Despite his early problems Atkinson has recovered to be sixth in the Group N category and 11th outright.
There will be a further two stages in the West Australian countryside this afternoon followed by two passes over the Gloucester Park Super Special Stage this evening to complete the opening of three legs in Telstra Rally Australia.