MATURE APPROACH NETS ATKINSON FURTHER EXPERIENCE After being caught between a rock and hard place during yesterday's opening leg in the Rally of Turkey Australian Chris Atkinson has furthered his experience in the World Rally Championship with...
MATURE APPROACH NETS ATKINSON FURTHER EXPERIENCE
After being caught between a rock and hard place during yesterday's opening leg in the Rally of Turkey Australian Chris Atkinson has furthered his experience in the World Rally Championship with a mature approach aboard his Subaru Impreza today.
Due to being placed well down the order after yesterday's incident Atkinson was the first car to contest the stages on the tricky Turkish roads during today's second leg.
Throughout the day the young Australian gradually increased his momentum to record the third fastest time on the fifth stage of the day, this was the 19th time Atkinson had finished inside the top five for a stage from the six WRC events he has contested this year.
"After the disappointment of yesterday today was all about furthering my experience in the car and getting through all of the stages unscathed while experimenting with different car set ups," said Atkinson
"Today stages were pretty similar to yesterday and there were lots of damp and wet sections through most of them which made life difficult, especially being the first car on the road."
Throughout the day Atkinson and his co-driver Glenn Macneall continued to be the pioneers on the slippery roads and as result found themselves in a spin on more than one occasion aboard their Subaru Impreza.
"We lost quite a lot of time with spins and stalls as we continually searched to find a good level of grip on the changing surface," said Atkinson.
"Several times throughout the day we were also caught in some heavy rain showers which magnified the fact that we were the first car on the road, but if you take away the time we've lost through little mistakes, then the underlying pace is improving and that's encouraging.
"I think we can expect similar weather conditions tomorrow and we will be taking a very similar approach into the final day as what we did today, continually test, learn and further our experience."
Sebastien Loeb maintained his lead throughout the day to enter the final day over a minute clear of Atkinson's Subaru team-mate Petter Solberg. Solberg is closely followed by Marcus Gronholm. Double World Champion Carlos Sainz is fourth.
Tomorrow's leg is one of the shortest on the WRC Calendar consisting of only two stages over 49.80 competitive kilometres. The first car will take to the start line at 10:03am (5:03pm AEST).