Former Subaru World Rally Team driver and Aussie, Chris Atkinson wants WRC come back starting from Rally Australia.
Atko lost his Seat in the world Championship in 2008 when Subaru pulled out of the WRC. His last appearance in the World championship was in 2009 on rally of Ireland with a private drive in a C4. During his time in the WRC Atko achieved 6 podiums, his best result in WRC was 2nd place in 2008 on Rally Mexico and Rally Argentina.
Since then he has competed on selected rounds of IRC with Proton and Asia Pacific Rally Championship and back in April this year took a win on The Malaysian rally. In 2010 he had been rumoured to join Ken Block in the Monster World rally team. When we caught up with him back on Rally Spain 2010 while he was gravel crew for Block, he dampened those rumours and said that his main focus was on the Asia Pacific championship with Proton, but would make a return to WRC if funds and seats were available.
Currently Atkinson is talking to the teams about a drive for Rally Australia based in Coffs – Harbour in September.
“I’m determined to get back to the World Rally Championship and this is a step towards that goal,” the 31-year-old told Autosport magazine. “It’s not decided yet what car I’ll drive [but] it’s fair to say all of the cars look pretty exciting. Right now, I’m focused on getting everything in place, the car I’m driving is integral to that, but it’s about getting the funding right.”
Atkinson’s former boss and now MINI WRC Team principal, David Richards admitted he would be keen on having the Australian in one of his cars if the Prodrive-run squad added a seventh event to its existing schedule.
“I’ve spoken to Chris about it and I’d welcome him back, if there’s a budget to do it,” Richards told Autosport.
Rally Australia takes place 8-11 September.