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Subaru rally driver, Chris Atkinson, has endured another day of frustration to finish Rally Argentina in seventh place.

The result earned the Australian two championship points, lifting his season’s tally to 12, leaving him in seventh place after the opening six rounds.

On top of the Championship table with 48 points is reigning world champion, Sebastien Loeb, who collected another ten points for his Rally Argentina victory. The Frenchman finished 36.7 seconds clear of his rival, Marcus Gronholm, with Mikko Hirvonen third, two minutes 15.2 seconds behind the winner.

Atkinson and new co-driver, Stephane Prevot, finished the day’s opening two stages third and fourth fastest and had moved up to be in fifth place. But further issues with the car saw the pair slip back down the leaders’ board to finish in seventh place, and clearly frustrated.

“It’s good to have completed the event in the points, and I’m pleased about how things have worked out with my new co-driver, but it’s hard not to get frustrated with the speed when I know I can go quicker,” Atkinson said.

“Even though we managed to set some reasonable times on the first couple of stages today I know I could have been faster if I had more confidence in the handling of the car.”

“We made some positive steps at the recent test but there’s still work to do before we unlock the potential of this car. We’ll keep on working and hope for a better story in Sardinia.”

Richard Taylor, Subaru World Rally Team managing director, was aware of the difficulties being experienced by his Gold Coast charge.

“Today has been a frustrating one for Chris’” Taylor said.

“He had a couple of good times early on, but the car didn’t feel right under him and he dropped a couple of places later on.”

“We have learned some lessons here, and we’ll use that information to help us improve the car before the next event in Sardinia”

The next event, round seven of the Championship, is Rally d’Italia-Sardinia, which starts on May 18.

Results – Rally Argentina

1, Loeb / Elena, Citroën C4, 02:52:03.8,
2, Grönholm / Rautiainen, Ford Focus RS WRC 06, 02:52:40.5, +36.7
3, Hirvonen / Lehtinen, Ford Focus RS WRC 06, 02:54:19.0, +02:15.2
4, Latvala / Anttila, Ford Focus RS WRC 06, 02:55:46.8, +03:43.0
5, Solberg / Menkerud, Ford Focus RS WRC 06, 02:56:13.9, +04:10.1
6, Sordo / Marti, Citroën C4, 02:56:27.4, +04:23.6
7, Atkinson / Prevot, Subaru Impreza WRC, 02:56:47.2, +04:43.4
8, Stohl / Minor, Citroën Xsara WRC, 02:57:24.0, +05:20.2
9, Villagra / Curletto, Mitsubishi Evo IX, 03:08:53.7, +00.5
10, Arai / Sircombe, Subaru Impreza, 03:09:03.0, +00.0

Driver's Championship

1, S. Loeb , 48
2, M. Gronholm, 45
3, M. Hirvonen, 36
4, D. Sordo, 22
5, P. Solberg, 16
6, H. Solberg, 15
7, C. Atkinson, 12
=, J-M. Latvala, 12

Manufacturers’ Championship

1, BP-Ford World Rally Team, 81
2, Citroen Total World Rally Team, 72
3, Stobart M-Sport Ford Rally Team, 30
4, Subaru World Rally Team, 29
5, OMV Kronos Citroen World Rally Team, 22

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