TOP FIVE SLIPS FROM ATKINSON'S GRASP After shining brightly during the opening day of Wales Rally GB, round 12 of the World Rally Championship, Australian Chris Atkinson has endured an early end to the second day today. Atkinson began the day...
TOP FIVE SLIPS FROM ATKINSON'S GRASP
After shining brightly during the opening day of Wales Rally GB, round 12 of the World Rally Championship, Australian Chris Atkinson has endured an early end to the second day today.
Atkinson began the day in sixth position, just over a minute behind overnight leader Sebastian Loeb, however his good run was short lived when he ran off the road while contesting the first stage of the day.
Unfortunately the young Queenslander clipped the apex of a right hand bend seven kilometres from the start line of the stage (19.46km Crychan) and spun his Subaru Impreza WRC 2005. His car slid down a steep slope and came to rest undamaged but 10 feet below the stage.
"I came into a third gear right hand corner and it actually didn't feel like I had a lot of grip and the car wasn't going to turn in so I grabbed the handbrake to help the car turn in, with that the car turned in too much and I clipped the apex which spun the car and dropped us down the bank," said Atkinson.
"It is disappointing because the car felt very good and the pace we were going at was matching the leading drivers but I believe it wasn't a mistake from pushing too hard, it was simply a mistake from a lack of experience in these road conditions."
Despite their best efforts, Atkinson and West Australian co-driver Glenn Macneall were unable to re-join the road and the pair was forced to retire from the Leg. They will however be able to restart under superally regulations in tomorrow's final leg and further their experience aboard the WRC spec Impreza.
"Thankfully the only real damage to the car was a bumper and we will be able to restart tomorrow to further our experience in the event," said Atkinson.
"Tomorrow consists of four stages which are very fast. We will go out with the aim of running at the same pace as we did yesterday, hopefully we can put in some good times and once again be on the match the times of the leading drivers."
With one day remaining Loeb continues to lead and is on track for his ninth victory of the year. Atkinson's Subaru team-mate Petter Solberg is 44 seconds behind Loeb in second followed by Marcus Gronholm, Francois Duval and Harri Rovanpera.