Atkinson brings home 2 points

Atkinson brings home 2 pointsFrom Subaru Press [ 15/05/2005 ].
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After a trouble-free run on today's final Leg of the Cyprus Rally, Subaru's Chris Atkinson moved three places up the leaderboard to achieve a top-ten finish.

Contesting the event for the first time, Atkinson's primary objective for the rally was to gain experience of the car in the specialist conditions. On today's final six stages, the Australian was also able to experiment with the set-up of his Impreza WRC2005 in preparation for the forthcoming rough gravel events in Turkey and Greece.

Chris Atkinson

"The event didn't get off to the best start for us, but in fact, once the competitive pressure lifted, we had a great opportunity to experiment with the car and learn more about the conditions. We ran at a consistent and safe pace and I think we've made some useful steps ahead of Greece and Turkey. We've still got some more work to do of course, especially in the slow corners, but I'm pleased with what we've achieved here this weekend."

David Lapworth, Team Principal

"Clearly it's disappointing to lose ground to Sebastien Loeb in the Championship, especially on an event where we had the potential to be very strong. From Petter's point of view, the only consolation is that we still have confidence in our potential in these conditions and there's no reason why we can't redress the balance in Turkey and Greece. For Chris this event was another important part of his learning process. He's done very well and gained a lot of invaluable experience. The work he's done here will give him a lot of confidence for the forthcoming rough events."

Round seven of the 16-event FIA World Rally Championship starts in three weeks when teams return to the Mediterranean for the Rally of Turkey. Starting on Thursday 2 June with a Super Special, the event will start in earnest on Friday 3 June at 0730hrs.

Temperatures in Turkey are expected to be as hot as those in Cyprus, but as the average speeds of the rally are higher there will be more airflow through the cars. Turkey is another famed car-breaker and components have to be at their strongest to survive the three-day pounding from rocky roads and choking dust. Service will once again be based in the coastal resort of Kemer, while the event's 18 stages will run in the Anatolian mountains. The event will conclude on Sunday 5 June.