Australia’s World Rally Championship star, Chris Atkinson, has received a glowing commendation from his boss, David Richards, with the Prodrive chief tipping his young charger as a WRC event winner by the end of the year.

"Chris did a fantastic job and I firmly believe he can win an event before the end of the year," Richards said after Atkinson’s second placing in the Rally of Mexico.

"We've had a very encouraging start to the year and we're putting ourselves in a very strong position for when we launch our new car, the WRC2008.

"From our performance here in Mexico it is clear to me that we have made some positive steps forward since Sweden, and will continue to do so as we look to Argentina in a few weeks time."

Atkinson was happy with his result, and with Richards’ prediction, but knows there’s still a long way to go.

“We’ve still got a bit of work to do to be on the top pace, but it’s a step in the right direction,” the Queenslander told RallySport Magazine today.

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