Australia’s Chris Atkinson has won his third event from four starts in this year’s Asia Pacific Rally Championship with victory at the International Rally of Whangarei in New Zealand.
Atkinson was pressed all the way in his Proton Satria Neo S2000 by Production Class World Championship driver Hayden Paddon but held-on to win by just 12.4-seconds after 16 stages over two days in tricky and at times wet conditions.
The Queenslander stepped things up today winning five of the leg’s eight stages. Yesterday he won 3 of Saturday’s eight stages.
“Obviously to get the overall win as well as the Asia Pacific Rally Championship points is fantastic,” said Atkinson.
“It was good fun having a fight with Hayden. Our car was working really well today and I didn’t take any massive risks, but I definitely pushed hard all day.
“Obviously he’s a fast driver and very quick on these roads and we had to do our very best to hold him behind us.”
Proton team-mate Alister McRae had a tougher day slipping from third to seventh after mechanical issues.
“We had a small problem with the engine and backed off to drive it to the finish, so it’s a bit disappointing,” said McRae.
“But we had to think of the points for the championship and we’re second APRC so that’s good.”
This place went to Richard Mason, while Austalia’s Brendan Reeves put in one of the best drives on the day to climb from ninth to sixth at the end of the rally.
Results : International Rally Whangarei
|1||Chris Atkinson||Proton||Satria Neo S2000||3:01:26.9|
|2||Hayden Paddon||Subaru||Impreza WRX STi||+0:12.4|
|3||Richard Mason||Mitsubishi||Lancer Evo X||+1:48.1|
|4||Chris West||Mitsubishi||Lancer Evo IX||+2:47.0|
|5||Emma Gilmour||Subaru||Impreza WRX STi||+3:25.2|
|6||Brendan Reeves||Mitsubishi||Lancer Evo IX||+3:41.0|
|7||Alister McRae||Proton||Satria Neo S2000||+3:55.2|
|8||Kingsley Thompson||Mitsubishi||Lancer Evo X||+4:31.7|
|9||Glenn Inkster||Mitsubishi||Lancer Evo IX||+9:27.5|
|10||Subhan Aksa||Mitsubishi||Lancer Evo IX||+9:30.7|
Asia Pacific Rally Championship Standings