WRC Rally Deutschland: Chris Atkinson encouraged by first morning in Mini

Chris Atkinson declared himself pleased with his pace on his first morning of competition in the Mini World Rally car

WRC Rally Deutschland: Chris Atkinson encouraged by first morning in Mini

The Australian has been drafted into the Motorsport Italia-run Team Mini Portugal operation to replace Armindo Araujo. That means Atkinson now has experience of all three factory WRC machines, having driven the Monster Ford Fiesta in Mexico and Nasser Al-Attiyah's Qatar Citroen DS3 in Finland.

After a cautious start to Rally Deutschland, Atkinson holds ninth place going into Friday afternoon's stages.

"I've been really careful this morning," said Atkinson. "I said that, at the end of the event, I wanted to be around 0.5 seconds per kilometre off Dani [Sordo's] pace and we're there now, so that's good.

"I'm not taking risks here. There are corners out there where I would be flat out if I'd been here and done a good recce for the last four years; in some of these places I'm having a little bit of a lift and just having a look at the corner."

Atkinson said he would not be making radical changes to the car.

"I haven't driven on asphalt for three and a half years," said Atkinson, "so this event is really about focusing on me and my driving - we know the car is up to the job. Finishing between sixth and 10th is my target and we're on for that right now."

He added: "The balance is very, very good and the engine has good power and delivers it in a very linear way - it's a very driveable car."

shares
comments
WRC Rally Deutschland: Sebastien Loeb says weather could create lottery

Previous article

WRC Rally Deutschland: Sebastien Loeb says weather could create lottery

Next article

WRC Rally Deutschland: Sebastien Loeb 20s clear after first day

WRC Rally Deutschland: Sebastien Loeb 20s clear after first day
Load comments
How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2 Plus

How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2

For the second WRC gravel rally in a row, a promising Friday for Hyundai turned into desolation as Toyota gratefully picked up the pieces. This time it was championship leader Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage after Ott Tanak and Dani Sordo retired to score a memorable victory, having swept the road on the first two days

WRC
Jun 7, 2021
How Hyundai's latest self-destruction handed Evans Portugal victory Plus

How Hyundai's latest self-destruction handed Evans Portugal victory

At one point Hyundai held the top three positions in Portugal, but when trouble struck the Korean marque's two leading chargers, a grateful Elfyn Evans was on hand to see off Hyundai third man Dani Sordo and become the third different winner in four rallies

WRC
May 24, 2021
Why the success of AVB's WRC debut won't be defined on the stages Plus

Why the success of AVB's WRC debut won't be defined on the stages

Three years after a Dakar Rally crash resulted in him being airlifted to hospital, Andre Villas-Boas is preparing to make his debut on his home round of the World Rally Championship later this month. His goals for the event are modest, but the same cannot be said for the charities he plans to promote where his true impact could be felt

WRC
May 13, 2021
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Plus

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia Plus

How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021
Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished Plus

Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished

The WRC's support categories are in a process of streamlining that will spell the end of a formalised 2WD world championship-level category. While its relevance to the top level has been questioned for some time, that doesn't mean it should be swept quietly under the carpet

WRC
Apr 5, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Plus

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Plus

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate

WRC
Mar 1, 2021