Atkinson to do Townsville Mini race.

Australian rally star Chris Atkinson will saddle up a John Cooper Works MINI racer at the third round of the 2009 MINI Challenge at the brand new Townsville circuit in three weeks' time.

Despite still competing on special stages around the world, the former Subaru factory driver will drive the 'Uber Star' MINI Challenge car prepared by the Stillwell MINI Garage team in support of the V8 Supercar Series event at Townsville, where the new twin-driver format will make its debut.

“I'm really excited about it,” Atkinson, now a member of the Citroen Junior Team, admitted, “I've driven a MINI once before, but never in a race situation. However, I've been hearing a lot about MINI Challenge and a lot about the new Townsville circuit so, when the chance came up to try them both out, I didn't hesitate.”

The 28-year old Atkinson shot to prominence after signing with the 2005 Subaru WRC team and has gone on to become a respected member of the world elite family with five podium finishes last year alone. However, the withdrawal of the Subaru effort has left him free to tackle other disciplines, even though he will be back competing in Europe just days after the Townsville event.

“I've probably got the best round to come in without any MINI experience,” Atkinson explained, aware that his road racing experience comprises just two events – the Nurburgring 24 Hours and Bathurst 12 Hours, "At least we'll all be new to the track there, so nobody has home track experience.

“I think, if anything, my 4WD experience will help in the front-wheel-drive MINI, as sometimes there are a few parallels between 4WD and front-wheel-drive. I'll have that on my side anyway and, hopefully, that compensates for my lack of consistent road racing experience.”

Atkinson follows AFL personality Sam Newman and Winter Olympics gold medallist Steven Bradbury in taking the wheel of the 'Uber Star'.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Chris Atkinson (AUS), Citroën C4 WRC, Citroën Junior Team
Junior ERC: Chris Ingram, Peugeot UK [Credit: Chris Ingram Rally]
Valeriy Gorban (UKR) Volodymyr Korsia (UKR), Mini John Cooper Works
Valeriy Gorban (UKR) Volodymyr Korsia (UKR), Mini John Cooper Works
Chris Ingram and Gabin Moreau
Nasser Al-Attiyah - MINI ALL4 Racing
Citroen launches its 2015 WRC challenger, the DS3
Citroen launches its 2015 WRC challenger, the DS3
Citroen launches its 2015 WRC challenger, the DS3
Citroen launches its 2015 WRC challenger, the DS3
Hyundai reveals its 2015 i20 WRC challenger
Sportscar team JRM acquires Mini rallycross machinery
Robert Kubica at the Monza Rally Show
Ford Olsbergs MSE celebrates winning the RX Teams` Championship
Nasser Al-Attiyah - Mini ALL4 Racing
Chris Atkinson (AUS) Stephane Prevot (BEL) Hyundai i20 WRC
Chris Atkinson (AUS) Stephane Prevot (BEL) Hyundai i20 WRC
Chris Atkinson (AUS) Hyundai i20 WRC

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

Shame - Unregistered

June 25, 2009 2:19 PM

Longway from WRC to this rubbish. This Kid really needs a break. Get him back in WRC car. Look what he did in the first round this year after not even driving the car before.

© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.