Chris snatches 4th at the last moment

Chris snatches 4th at the last momentFrom Subaru Press [ 21/01/2007 ].
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In front of tens of thousands of fans and a live television audience, Chris Atkinson was the star of the Monaco Superspecial, setting the fastest time around the stage and also snatching fourth place in the overall standings by just two-tenths of a second.

Chris had been demoted to fifth place in the classification by Mikko Hirvonen on the final stage on Saturday, but fought back to set the best time of 1m 49.9s and moved one place back up the order. It was his best result on an asphalt rally and the best performance on Rallye Monte Carlo by the Subaru World Rally Team since 2002.

Petter Solberg, who was rallying on the doorstep of his Monaco apartment, put on a flamboyant show for the crowd. He was already secure in sixth position in the rally, matching his personal best result on Rallye Monte Carlo.

Today's second section of leg three comprised just one stage: a 2.8km superspecial on a course laid out around part of the circuit used for the Monaco Grand Prix. The cars ran two at a time, in a pursuit format, with the duellists starting from opposite ends of the stage.

Richard Taylor, Team Managing Director
“It was a really superb effort this morning from Chris to snatch fourth place. It's been a great weekend for the team and there's plenty to be positive about. 
Both Chris and Petter have made strong starts to the season and we're seeing some real steps forward in terms of our performance compared to last year. We're looking forward to the rest of the season and we can expect to see some improving results as we go.”

Chris Atkinson
“Getting fourth place back from Mikko on this stage is a massive result for us. To be fighting like this on asphalt is so encouraging for the team. It was fantastic to do it in front of so many people and in this setting. I was just trying to be quick and neat rather than spectacular. I think this is one of the best rallies we've ever had. It feels like we've reached a new level on asphalt and the team is coming along very well. Our next stop is Sweden and we'll be aiming for some more points there.”

Petter Solberg
“It was good fun, really good fun, the stage was very impressive and I really hope the people here enjoyed watching it as much as we did driving! These stages are all about putting on a good show I hope we can do something similar on other rallies in the future.”

Matthieu Bonardel, BFGoodrich Rally Manager
“This is the first rally for the new partnership between the Subaru World Rally Team and BFGoodrich and we are very happy with what we have achieved so far. The results are very encouraging. With three fastest times on our first rally, we could not have dreamed of a better way to start the collaboration and we're looking forward to an exciting season.”