Lapworth Hails Atkinson Podium

Subaru boss David Lapworth hailed Chris Atkinson's podium finish in the Rally Japan, saying he fulfilled everything he asked of him

Lapworth Hails Atkinson Podium

Until Japan, the Australian had only finished in the points once in the eleven rallies he had competed with the works Subaru team this season, finishing seventh in the Rally of New Zealand. He lost a points finish in his first Rally GB, after going off into a ditch early in the second leg.

However Atkinson benefited from problems to his teammate Petter Solberg and Mitsubishi's Gigi Galli to move up the leaderboard on the final day and finish third, his best ever WRC result.

Lapworth has called on Atkinson to secure a good finish on the event, because unlike other events this season, he had competed in it twice previously in lower formulas.

"I want to congratulate Chris on such a great result," Lapworth said. "He's put a tick in all the boxes this weekend. He has driven consistently, fast, under pressure and on some extremely difficult roads and I'm sure he'll benefit a lot from the experience."

Atkinson was elated with his best result. He said: "My first ever podium is pretty special too. We've done this rally before and today's result just goes to show how much difference experience can make. I can't wait for next year. We took things fairly steady yesterday when the road conditions were difficult but today the whole package felt good and we decided to push a little harder.

"Getting on the podium in front of Subaru's home crowd makes it extra special but at the same time I really feel for Petter - he's been terribly unlucky."

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