Australia’s World Rally Championship star, Chris Atkinson, once again writes exclusively for about his experiences behind the wheel of Subaru’s Impreza World Rally Car, and of the fun and games outside the car.

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to another edition of Atko’s Tales! Well, it has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride since I last checked in, but things are all good and we’re still right in there, although I’ve dropped back to fourth in the championship now; I’ll reel it back though ;)

The team launched the new car in Greece and immediately Petter and I could feel the difference. We still have some things to work on, but the potential of this car is awesome as Petter showed in Greece. I checked in with the car’s first ever stage win in Greece, so that’s a pretty special feeling – one for the SWRT history books. Anyway, enough about work, time to tell some stories!

My more recent escapades have taken me to a few cool places and even cooler races. Prior to Sardegna (Italy) a few of us went to watch some mates race in the World Superbike Championship at Monza. The Aussie boys went alright and Troy (Corser) managed to increase the gap on his WSBK championship lead, so all in all it was a good weekend at the track.

It’s good to see how those guys roll on-event, because you can always pick things up that could be useful at a rally.

After Sardegna it was back to Monaco, but not for a normal weekend at home... it was F1 Grand Prix week! There are quite a few Aussies who congregate for the event and we had some sweet times that weekend.

Watching Sunday’s race from a boat full of Aussies and a proper barbie was definitely a highlight, along with the Red Bull party on Thursday night – that party is always the real deal, the way it should be done.

Then it was off to Greece for the most important race for Subaru in over three years as we successfully launched the new car into the WRC. This was a pretty hectic rally, what with all the PR activities and functions tagged to the launch of the car, so afterwards I took a holiday to one of the Greek Islands to wind down.

I had some friends from Australia travelling to Europe for the first time, so we all met up at the rally then headed down into the Islands after it finished. I have to say the Greek Islands are an amazing part of the world - almost like the Whitsundays, but with a very European flavour and some of the best food going round.

We hired some scooters and quads to cruise round on, although we made a crucial mistake by putting two less-confident girls on a scooter together – yep, they went down! Ah, they are all OK though, and hey, it’s another story to tell your kids, as they say.

For the last week I have been back in Oz visiting friends and family and doing some PR events for Subaru Australia. Fortunately my time back home coincided with Coates Rally Queensland, so I rolled up from the Goldy (Gold Coast) to see the boys.

It was great to catch up with everyone and meet some of these new young guys coming onto the scene – the future is looking like it will have some very fast talent in Australian rallying. I was also really pleased to see the ARC still doing well and all the fans at Rally QLD out supporting our country’s top drivers – keep it up everyone.         

Until next time,


Chris at the World Superbike race at Monza.
Relaxing with friends on the Greek Islands.

An Aussie-style BBQ at the Monaco F1 GP
With brother Ben at Rally Queensland.

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