Atkinson for Bathurst 12 Hour race
- 7th March 2007, 3:17pm
Subaru World Rally Team driver, Chris Atkinson, will head a star-studded line-up for Subaru at the WPS Bathurst 12-Hour Showroom Enduro on Easter Sunday (April 8).
The two-car Subaru Motorsport entry will be the company’s first official foray into circuit racing after a decade of gravel and tarmac rallying campaigns.
Atkinson will be joined by Subaru’s regular drivers, three-time Australian Rally Champion and reigning Asia-Pacific Rally Champion, Cody Crocker, and outstanding West Australian rally driver, Dean Herridge, behind the wheel of an Impreza WRX STI spec. C.
The second Impreza will be driven by former Bathurst 12-hour winner Neil Crompton.
Also driving is 20 year-old Chris Alajajian, who campaigned a Subaru Liberty GT in the 2004 Australian Production Car Championship, winning both the Class A and outright Championship.
The third driver will be announced in the near future.
Crompton and the late Greg Hansford took the Bathurst 12-Hour title when it was last contested at Mount Panorama in 1994.
Subaru Managing Director, Nick Senior, said the two cars would showcase the range of Motorsport vehicles the company now has on sale.
“Wherever we take the Impreza WRX STI to race, no matter what the format, we are seeing enormous interest from motoring fans and STI enthusiasts,” Senior said.
“We’re sure that's going to be the case in Bathurst as well, and the fact that we’ve been able to put such a strong driving team in place is going to create even more interest.”
“Now that we have a specific range of Motorsport cars for sale, it makes sense for us to have them at Bathurst and demonstrate just what a versatile car the Impreza WRX STI is.”
Atkinson will compete on gravel later this month in World Rally Championship events in Mexico (March 9-11) and Portugal (March 30-April 1) and then head straight back to Australia to make his Bathurst debut.
“I competed in the Nurburgring 24-hour race last year and really enjoyed it, so to get another chance at a tarmac endurance race is a fantastic opportunity, and I jumped at the chance when offered a seat,” Atkinson said.
“It will be great to team with Cody and Dean as well. We’ve all done some tarmac racing over the past few years, so while we’re all pretty new to head-to-head racing, we should be able to put on a pretty strong showing.”
Crocker, who recently finished second in Rally Tasmania in only his third tarmac rally, is delighted to find yet another Motorsport challenge.
“I've felt increasingly confident on tarmac every time I’ve raced, and I felt very comfortable by the end of the event in Burnie a couple of weeks ago,” Crocker said.
“It’s a different challenge for sure, but I’m really looking forward to it.”
The cars will be supported by Protecnica Racing, who will bring their tarmac racing and Bathurst knowledge to the Subaru Motorsport team.
The final driving combinations are subject to change.
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