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For the second WRC rally in succession Chris Atkinson finished in the points-scoring positions, although the final leg of the rally was a dramatic one for the Australian. He started the day in fine fashion by setting the fastest time on SS16.

It was his first WRC stage win on a snow rally and closely followed his first fastest time on an asphalt rally, achieved on last month’s Rallye Monte Carlo. But two stages later he ran wide into a ditch and damaged the rear left corner of his Impreza WRC. The time lost meant he dropped from fifth to eighth overall and had to complete the last two stages of the rally at a reduced pace.

"The mistake on SS18 was disappointing, especially for the team, because we were on course to bring home three more championship points," Atkinson said.

"But we’ve been encouraged by our pace here this weekend, we chose the right strategy of making a cautious start and what happened was just one those unfortunate things. Now it is important for us to look ahead to Rally Norway and try to get the best result we can there.”

Subaru World Rally Team managing director, Richard Taylor: “It has been a frustrating day for Chris. What looked like a strong fifth place for him turned into eighth place. It’s still a championship point, but it is not the target we had set ourselves for this event. However, we’ve learnt a little bit more about the car and the BFGoodrich tyres here and can put that to good use on Rally Norway in a few days.”


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