Chris ‘Atko’ Atkinson will be looking to maintain his winning form with Team MRF Skoda when the Australian tackles the latest round of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) this weekend in Malaysia.
The Queenslander currently leads the APRC by a healthy 38-point margin thanks to wins in New Zealand and Australia, coupled with a second place finish on the Rally of New Caledonia. Off the back of their successful partnership at the Brakes Direct Rally of Queensland, Brakes Direct has stepped up as major sponsor of Atko for the remainder of the APRC and the WRC event Rally Finland.
“Brakes Direct is thrilled to be back on board with Chris in his quest for the international APRC title. As an Australian company it’s a privilege to support an Aussie competing on the world stage and we wish Chris the absolute best in securing another full-time WRC drive following on from Rally Finland next month.” said Managing Director – Greg Latham.
“It’s great to be heading into this event with a strong lead in the APRC standings, strong support from my teammate’s Skoda Fabia S2000 sitting in second and from my new partnership with Brakes Direct,” commented Atkinson.
Atko returns as defending champion of the Malaysian Rally and puts down his successful past performances to an unparalleled level of fitness and concentration. “Malaysia is probably the most demanding rally on the planet and it takes so much concentration to make it through to the end,” Atko added. “The heat and humidity really takes its toll on the body and the mind and it’s a true test of the physical capabilities of both the car and driver to determine who comes out on top here.”
A total of 16 entries have been confirmed for the APRC category and for the first time spectators will be treated to ‘Midnight Rallying’ with floodlights brightening the action over a specially designed 2.5km-long dirt track in the Plaza Angsana on Friday and Saturday evening. The Malaysian Rally is expected to draw huge crowds with event headquarters and special stages nestled in one of south-east Asia’s most populated regions – with more than eight million people in the metropolitan area of the Sijori Growth Triangle. While weather forecasts suggest a dry event, torrential rain always lures within the region and, in the past, has transformed road conditions from sandpaper to silk within minutes.
Round: 4/6, FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship
Based: Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Liaison distance: 353.70km
Competitive distance: 235.28km
Total distance: 588.98km
Time difference: Malaysia is GMT+8hrs