Another podium beckons for Atkinson
- 30th March 2008, 5:24pm
The Queenslander started the day in second, but the experience of his team mate Petter Solberg showed as the cars battled the treacherous, muddy conditions after the heavy rains on the opening day.
Having now decided that he will not battle Solberg for second, Atkinson will concentrate on bringing home his Impreza WRC2007 to leave two Subarus on the podium for the first time since 2003.
Sebastien Loeb still leads the way, one minute 19.6 seconds clear of Solberg. Atkinson is a further 48.9 seconds back, two minutes 8.5 seconds behind the leader.
Danni Sordo is back in fourth, but is one minute 23.8 seconds behind, giving the Gold Coast driver a handy buffer with just three stages and 42 competitive kilometres remaining tomorrow.
Atkinson showed good pace across Leg Two, setting the fastest time on one of nine stages contested.
While his nature was to attack, Atkinson was aware that it was vital for his team to keep two Subarus in the top three.
“I’ve backed right off now,” said Atkinson.
“We were fast this morning and it’s good to win stages for the team. We’ve had some good results this year and it’s important to keep finishing well, so I decided to back off a little, not take any risks and make sure we got to the finish.
“It’s been very tricky today, a bit more difficult than yesterday,” said Atkinson.
“It’s unfortunate that we lost a position, but Petter did a very good job today.”
“It is very important for the team that we have both cars in the top three, and we need to make sure we finish like that. Obviously it would be good for our championship if we got back second, but we have seen how easy it is to make mistakes in these conditions and the most important thing is to finish.”
“Two Subarus on the podium is the main aim here now and it’s important we finish like that tomorrow, for the points and also for everyone in the team.”
David Richards, Subaru World Rally Team Principal, was clearly pleased with the drive of his young charge.
“I’m really impressed with the maturity of Chris’ decision not take any big risks and focus on scoring crucial points for the team,” Richards said.
The final day of Rally Argentina will take competitors through 43 competitive kilometres and just three stages; the famous El Condor stages and the third and final running of the spectator stage in the Cordoba Stadium.
Results after day two – Rally Argentina
1.Loeb / Elena, Citroen C4 WRC, 3h 28m 16.5s
2. Solberg / Mills, Subaru Impreza WRC2007, +1m 19.6s (diff. to 1st)
3. Atkinson / Prevot, Subaru Impreza WRC2007, +2m 08.5s
4. Sordo / Marti, Citroen C4 WRC, +3m 32.3s
5. Rautenbach / Senior, Citroen C4 WRC, +18m 00.1s
6. Hirvonen / Lehtinen, Ford Focus RS WRC 07, +24m 44.5s
7. Aigner / Wicha, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, +25m 27.2s
8. Villlagra / Perez Companc, Ford Focus RS WRC 07, +25m 53.4s
9.Al-Attiyah / Patterson, Subaru Impreza STi, +26m 18.3s
10. Beltran / Rojas, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, +26m 33.9s
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