Australian Chris Atkinson has secured a drive in the remaining rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship with MINI, starting with Rallye Deutschland in two weeks time.
Atkinson will compete for the factory-supported WRC Team MINI Portugal, replacing regular driver Armindo Araujo.
It will be the fourth different manufacturer that Atkinson will have competed with in 2012. Besides his drive with Skoda in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship, the Gold Coast resident has already driven a Ford and a Citroen in the World Rally Championship this year.
Araujo has scored three points finishes this year, with a best result of seventh in Mexico. Atkinson is hopeful of being able to better the Portuguese driver’s results.
“MINI has given me an awesome opportunity to return to the World Championship and I’m stoked to be back as a lead driver for a great manufacturer and for the remainder of the 2012 season,” said Atkinson.
“I love the tarmac so it’s great to know that three of the remaining five events are on the sealed surface. I hope to make full use of my past experiences, especially of Germany and Spain, to full advantage this year.”
Atkinson’s first assignment with MINI will be in Germany – an event that he has competed in on four occasions before. The Australian has a 100 percent completion rate and a best result of sixth overall in 2008.
It will be the first time the 32-year-old has driven the MINI John Cooper Works WRC.
Rallye Deutschland will be held on August 24-26. Atkinson will then prepare for the final