Atkinson's battle goes to the wire

Atkinson's battle goes to the wireFrom Subaru Press [ 20/01/2007 ].
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The Subaru World Rally Team still has two cars firmly in the points with just one stage remaining in this year's Rallye Monte Carlo. Chris Atkinson was one of the stars of the rally and set two fastest stage times as he fought over fourth position with Mikko Hirvonen. Chris lost the position by a slender margin on the last stage of the day, but remains confident that he will have a chance of clawing it back on the Monaco superspecial tomorrow morning. Petter Solberg successfully moved one place up the order from seventh to sixth and was satisfied with the stage times he set during the leg.

Most of leg three's stages took place to the north-west of the main service area at Valence, although the Superspecial in Monte Carlo tomorrow morning is also included as part of this leg of the rally. Today there were six stages in the mountains (two loops of three tests). The total competitive mileage including the Monaco Superspecial is 131.52km.

Most of leg three's stages took place to the north-west of the main service area at Valence, although the Superspecial in Monte Carlo tomorrow morning is also included as part of this leg of the rally. Today there were six stages in the mountains (two loops of three tests). The total competitive mileage including the Monaco Superspecial is 131.52km. 


Richard Taylor, Managing Director
“There's still one more stage to go but it looks like being a positive start to the season. We're very pleased with the way our new partnership with BFGoodrich has worked. Chris has driven very well throughout the rally and it will be interesting to see if he can grab back fourth place on the superspecial in Monte Carlo tomorrow morning. Overall, Petter has had a good event. For the entire team it has been all about getting a better understanding of the tyres and how our car works on them, and what we've seen gives us a lot of confidence that we can continue to improve the performance of the car as the season progresses.”

Chris Atkinson
“We just lost too much time at the end of the final stage today. I thought we'd done enough to hold Mikko back but that wasn't the case. It will certainly make the superspecial in Monaco very interesting and will be good for the spectators. Even though we lost position to Mikko it's been a hugely encouraging weekend. We've been able to battle competitively on asphalt and it's the first time I've been in a position to do that. It's a good step forward for us.”

Petter Solberg
“Our position is okay and overall I am very happy with this rally. It has been a tough weekend and the time we lost on the long opening stage on Friday really hurt our chances of getting any higher up the order. Don't forget that we have also been learning more about how the BFGoodrich tyres work with our car this weekend. Chris has gone particularly well and it has been a good team effort. The atmosphere on this rally has been incredible. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow. I know the roads pretty well and it's good to know my family will be watching from our apartment!”