Lapworth: Atkinson Needs to Score

Subaru boss David Lapworth has called on Chris Atkinson to start scoring results rather than just gaining experience on events

Lapworth: Atkinson Needs to Score

The Australian has only finished in the points once in the eleven rallies he has competed with the works Subaru team this season, finishing seventh in the Rally of New Zealand.

Atkinson lost a points finish in his first Rally GB, after going off into a ditch early in the second leg.

However, he goes into this weekend's Rally Japan with previous knowledge of the stages, having competed in the event twice when the event was part of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship. He won the Super 1600 class in 2004.

"The emphasis for Chris will shift for this event to achieving results rather than gaining experience," Lapworth said. "This is the first event where Chris feels at home as he's taken part in the rally for the previous two years.

"Japan is the home of Subaru and it makes the event the most important and highly-anticipated rally of the year for us."

Atkinson, who shares the second manufacturer points-scoring entry with Stephane Sarrazin, believes the event should be one of his best.

"I think of Rally Japan as my second home event," Atkins said. "I have a good understanding of the roads and the conditions. We've competed in the event for the past two years and we've had a good run here too - last year we set some fast times on most of the stages. Last year the route was very tricky in the damp conditions, but this year it may dry, which will change the character of the stages."

Sarrazin, although not competing in the event, is taking part in this week's reconnaissance with the team to gain experience, which puts him out of racing at the Petit Le Mans with Aston Martin.

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