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Q&A: Chris Atkinson - Subaru: EXCLUSIVE

22 July 2008

TO HEAR THE INTERVIEW IN FULL WITH CHRIS ATKINSON: CLICK HERE


Subaru's Chris Atkinson has enjoyed a pretty solid start to the 2008 World Rally Championship and has generally had the better of team-mate, Petter Solberg. The Aussie is currently fourth in the standings at the halfway point and heading to Finland is looking forward to seeing what he can do there with the new Impreza WRC2008, which made its debut just before the break on the Acropolis. Crash.net Radio's Russell Atkins spoke to the Subaru World Rally Team man recently at the Goodwood Festival of Speed...


Crash.net:
Chris, are you enjoying Goodwood?

Chris Atkinson:
It is amazing. We are having a really good time. It is nice weather and there is a big crowd here. It is good to see the sun out and everyone is enjoying it. It is fantastic.

Crash.net:
Have you been out on the rally stage and up the hill?

CA:
Yeah, we did one run up the hill this morning and maybe three or four runs around the rally stage. It is good fun to do both. It is good to go up the hill. There is a huge crowd there waiting to see all the cars and then to take it for a ride in the rally stage is enjoyable as well. You can see the smiles on people's faces [that are getting a ride] and you can scare them a little bit! It is cool.

Crash.net:
How is work going with the new Impreza?

CA:
It is good. Everything is coming along well. Obviously we brought it out early. But we have done a lot of development over the last couple of months while we have had the time off. We are looking forward to getting into the second half of the year and really pushing.

Crash.net:
How would you sum up the first half of the year?

CA:
For me it has been pretty good. I was a bit unlucky in the last two events. But that is life. Up until then we were running third in the championship and I had quite a few podiums. Considering where we were I think that is quite a good base.

Crash.net:
Finland is next, what targets have you got for that event?

CA:
We are going to push as hard as we can straight away. We are going to go for it and see if we have got the speed. Obviously Mikko [Hirvonen], Jari-Matti [Latvala] and Sebastien [Loeb] are going to be fast there and it is going to be hard to beat them. But if we can win some stages it will be encouraging.

Crash.net:
After Finland it is the Rallye Deutschland, one of three asphalt events in the second half of the season. How are you feeling ahead of those tarmac rounds?

CA:
It will be different. Even going to Finland when you have just done some slow gravel events takes a couple of runs to adjust. But it should be okay. We had a good run in Monte Carlo on the last tarmac event [and I finished third overall]. Hopefully that will continue.

Crash.net:
Final question, what can you achieve with the new car during the remainder of the year?

CA:
We want to aim as high as we can. We want to see if we can win with this new car. I haven't won an event in the World Rally Championship yet. I have had a few podiums - some second places and some third places - and now I want to make the next step. Hopefully this is the car that will allow me to do it.

Crash.net:
...And then next year right back in the fight again and challenging Ford and Citroen?

CA:
That is the aim. We have our development year ahead of us with the new car and then we will kick off the 2009 season at full gas.



TO HEAR THE INTERVIEW IN FULL WITH CHRIS ATKINSON: CLICK HERE


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