Atko set for WRC return?
- 20th May 2011, 11:12am
Chris Atkinson is eyeing a return to the World Rally Championship and has nominated Rally Australia in September as his preferred comeback event.
Atkinson, whose last WRC drive was in Ireland back in January 2009, is a five-time podium finisher with the Subaru World Rally Team. He currently drives a Proton Satria Neo Super 2000 in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship.
According to the UK's Autosport magazine, Atkinson is holding talks with Ford, Citroen and MINI about a drive on Australia's round of the WRC.
“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. “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 is confident that he still has the talent to match the current crop of WRC drivers and with this year's Rally Australia being an all-new event, he sees it as the ideal opportunity to return to the top level of the sport.
“It [will be] a level playing field, but don’t forget those guys are out in their cars every three weeks - I haven’t driven one yet,” said Atkinson. “The bigger picture is about getting back to the WRC and competing on my home round is a must.”
MINI WRC Team principal David Richards has admitted he would be keen on having the Australian in one of his cars if the Prodrive-run squad decides to add 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.
Aussie rally fans can only hope that we see Atko back on the WRC circuit again soon.
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