Chris Atkinson will contest next month’s third round of the FIA World Rally Championship as a part of the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT.
Atkinson has been asked by Khalid Al Qassimi to pilot his Abu Dhabi-branded Citroen in Mexico with the Emirati faced with commitment clashes for the third round of the championship.
“I’m stoked Khalid has asked me to fill his seat with the Abu Dhabi team for Rally Mexico!” Atkinson told Speedcafe.com.
“This is an awesome opportunity to get back to the WRC and behind the wheel of the car which won last year’s championship.
“Contesting Rally Mexico last year with Ken Block and the Monster World Rally Team really puts me in a great position with the stages still fresh in my mind.”
The Gold Coaster had a one-off run with the Citroen Junior team in Ireland in 2009 before contesting last year’s Rally Finland in DS3 WRC where he showed exceptional pace, but was unable to finish the event.
Citroen team boss Yves Matton said: “As Khalid is unable to take part in Rally Mexico, he wanted us to entrust the DS3 WRC of the Abu Dhabi Citroen Total WRT to Chris Atkinson and [co-driver] Stephane Prevot for this rally.
“Chris competed in the 2012 edition and we know he has the potential to do Abu Dhabi Racing proud.”
Rally Mexico hosts the first gravel event, with a couple of exciting new stages for 2013, March 7-10.
In total there will be 23 stages over a competitive distance of 397 kilometres. The monster Guanajuatito stage will again be the longest of the rally, increasing in length very slightly to 54.9 kilometres.