Chris Atkinson won the 2012 Asia Pacific Rally Championship last weekend with his second place result at the China Rally Longyou enough to clinch the title.
It is the Aussie's first, and biggest, international motorsport crown, captured amongst a raft of extremely competitive rallying talent from across the globe.
“It's an awesome feeling to take the APRC title after a great year with the MRF Skoda team,” said Atkinson. “There's a great line-up of drivers from around the world competing in the championship this season so I'm extremely proud to be flying the Aussie flag high for everyone back home.”
Atkinson's co-driver Stephane Prevot meanwhile picked up the FIA
Asia-Pacific Rally Championship for Co-Drivers, while Skoda won the FIA
Asia-Pacific Rally Cup for Manufacturers and Team MRF the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship Teams Trophy.
The year has been a solid one for Atkinson with two wins from five events including victory at his home event, the Brakes Direct Rally Queensland, back in May.
It has also been very busy too though, with dual rallying commitments seeing him compete in the APRC and WRC, after he was drafted in to the WRC MINI Team Portugal line-up in August. The latter commitment saw him forced to miss the APRC Rally Japan in September as it clashed with Wales Rally GB.
Despite missing Japan however, Atkinson's performances on the remaining five rallies were strong enough to secure Skoda's first ever Asia Pacific Rallying title since the Championship's inception back in 1988.
“It's been a busy last half of the season but thanks to a great team at Race Torque and huge support from Skoda Australia and Brakes Direct we were able to bring our A game all year and produce the ultimate result,” Atkinson added. “I also have to thank my family, friends and of course my fans who have shown massive support all year for both the APRC and WRC programs.”
Atkinson now joins an illustrious list of former APRC champions including the likes of Carlos Sainz, Possum Bourne and Rod Millen amongst others.
The year isn't over for him however, as he now shoots straight back to Europe for the final round of the World Championship, RallyRACC-Rally de Espana, which runs from November 8-11.