Queensland’s Chris Atkinson is set to contest this weekend’s third round of the FIA World Rally Championship with the factory Citroen squad.
‘Atko’ will drive a DS3 WRC for the Abu Dhabi Citroen Total World Rally Team after being personally selected by regular pilot Khalid Al Qassimi who is unable to contest the event due to other commitments.
Atkinson’s past ventures to the American-based event have come with good fortune. The Australian finished in the top-10 in 2006 and 2007 followed up with second overall in 2008 – his equal greatest result in the WRC to date.
Atko will again be navigated by the experienced notes of Belgian Stephane Prevot who has been keeping his eye-in by competing in the Legend Boucles de Spa Rallye, and the WRC Rally Sweden with Henning Solberg last month.
Last year saw Atkinson contest Rally Mexico as team-mate to Ken Block in the Monster World Rally Team where he failed to finish the event due to mechanical woes, but did score the team its first ever stage win in the WRC.
After taking part in the 2012 Rally Finland in a DS3 WRC, Atkinson will be competing in the same spec vehicle in Mexico this weekend. He did, however, have a chance to re-familiarise himself with the car during a test in Portugal last week.
QUOTES FROM ATKO “I’m always happy to be back in the WRC and race with a team as competitive as Citroën Racing. It’s an awesome opportunity for me, because I had no plans to take part in the World Championship this season. I’ll be going all out to score some points for the team again. I tested the car in Portugal last week and although it was raining, it did give me the chance to get back into the swing of things.
“These cars are amazing to drive and I’ve enjoyed success here in the past so a top-5 finish would be a sweet result for myself and the team. With the inclusion of new manufacturers and drivers to the WRC this season the future is looking bright our great sport and Mexico is always a colourful and well-supported event to help showcase this fact.”