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Hello and welcome to another edition of my crazy tales!

It's been a pretty adventurous couple of months since I've last checked in. I've been up to everything from driving the new-look '08 Subaru Impreza road version, to testing, to racing, to sky diving! Results have been really promising of late; we had good finishes in Finland and NZ and some stage wins in Germany which was very promising because I am still learning a lot about tarmac rallying. Catalunya was not the greatest result but I took a lot out of the rally and hopefully I can put that information to good use for Corsica this weekend.

Following the event, Subaru announced that I would be with the team for two more years. I am really looking forward to this time. I feel like I am driving well and also can’t wait for the new rally car coming next year. For now we will continue to work hard with the current car and continually work to improve it. It is a great team to be a part of and I’m really excited about the next two years especially now that people like Marcus are retiring. I feel it is time to step-up.

It was great to see so many Australians (including the RallySport Mag group) over in New Zealand watching the event. I also got to catch up with some guys from the Australian championship, which was good. Thanks to everyone who made the trip and also for the messages from the people who couldn’t make it.

With a month till the next rally, I took the time to have a bit of an adventure holiday in New Zealand. Eight of us headed down to Queenstown in the south island of the country, four guys from the rally team and four from the Gold Coast. I was lucky enough to get a lift to the south island in a friend’s helicopter. This was a really cool way to see the country, although the long week and small party the night before meant I was dribbling on the window near the end of the trip!

It was a really cool week, the highlights being Sky Diving from 15,000 feet and a 130m Bungee jump. It’s strange because it’s all over so quickly so you just want to get straight back up and do it again, whereas with rallying the rush can last for up to 30 minutes, depending on the length of the stage. A few people who didn’t share my enthusiasm for scaring themselves thought I was a bit weird, but I just couldn’t wait to jump. We also got in a few days snowboarding on some perfect snow, but I have to take a bit of care, as an injury wouldn’t be ideal in my profession.

After a quick two day stopover on the Gold Coast, I headed back to the UK for some testing ahead of the two back-to-back tarmac events. Catalunya was a good learning experience and an ideal way to test the car even further ahead of Corsica. Now we’re in Corsi ca where the weather is fantastic; much similar to that back home, just no waves at the beach!  

We had a great feed Monday night - a makeshift barbie in the sand with a few of the rally circus crew. The ingredients to this master barbie included some salad, a heap of meat, a bag of charcoal, a hole in the sand and some weird metal things we found in our hotel rooms to use as a grill... probably the most unorthodox method of cooking I have ever used but it worked an absolute treat! Nothing like a beach barbie on the Mediterranean in 30 degree weather with five different nationalities... that’s the way it should be.

The recce went really well and now I’m awaiting the ceremonial start of the event before the official stages start tomorrow. Fingers crossed for a solid result here. 

 

Until next time........Keep livin’ the Dream

Atko

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