Atkinson primed to ‘let it rip’ at Rally Aus
Chris Atkinson is intent on finishing a troubled Coates Hire Rally Australia with a flamboyant burst of speed at Coffs Harbour.
Atkinson has endured a frustrating campaign in only his second outing in the World Rally Championship this year behind the wheel of the Hyundai Shell World Rally Team i20.
The experienced WRC competitor who has won 41 special stages in a 10-year career at the top level, remains in 11th place and the last of the outright runners.
He is more than 7mins off leader, Volkswagen’s Sebastien Ogier, and has the WRC2 driver Nasser Al-Attiyah breathing down his neck, just .8s behind.
“It’s frustrating. I’m a person who enjoys being fast and competitive.” Atkinson told Speedcafe.com
“I don’t like turning up just to be a part of the numbers it’s very frustrating for me.”
“Obviously there’s still some things to learn and things to improve on.
“WRC is something you can’t cruise around or you’ll be left behind.
“The final stages I will try and enjoy and try and let rip in the car.”
Atkinson said he opted for the soft tyre on the long Nambucca stage on the premise that wet weather would arrive however it remained dry throughout the day 2 afternoon.
Kiwi Hayden Paddon continues his impressive push in the Hyundai N Motorsport entered #20 machine and will tackle the final day in seventh outright 2:15.5s from the lead.
“It hasn’t been too bad, it’s had its moments,” Paddon Speedcafe.com
“I could be going faster but I do have to remind myself that this is only my fourth time in a WRC car and we’ve still got a lot to learn.
“I’ve learnt a lot this weekend but I think we’ve made a step up from Finland and it’s got to keep going like this.
“I’m sure with time we’ll get that stage win and hopefully one day we’ll be on for a rally win.”