Atkinson confirms: I’m in talks for next year

Chris Atkinson has admitted that while he is unlikely to compete in any more events this season, he is in discussions to try and get something sorted for next year.

Atkinson, who was left in the lurch when Subaru suddenly canned its World Rally programme back in December, has only competed on one round this season, when he drove for the Citroen Junior Team on the first event, Rally Ireland.

Although he did quite well there and finished fifth on his first outing in a C4 WRC, he has since had to watch from the sidelines.

Despite that though, he hasn't given up on the WRC. Indeed he remains convinced that he has a lot to offer and is sure he can deliver and replicate the sort of results he managed in 2008, when he finished on the podium five times.

"Returning to the WRC and becoming World Champion is the main objective but at the moment there aren't many opportunities out there - at least not the ones I want," he told the official WRC website, www.wrc.com.

"This year it's unlikely I'll do any more rallies, so I'm focusing my attention on the future. I'm in discussions to try and get something sorted. I'm talking to everyone - that's what you've got to do to keep your name out there.

"The results last year showed how competitive we were against Petter [Solberg] and now look how he's doing in a four-year-old car. It's not like I'm not capable of good results either - that's why I want to get back.

"Sure there are younger drivers out there but it's hard to get the experience I've got. Look at someone like Marcus [Gronholm] - he didn't get his first opportunity in the WRC until he was 32. Sebastien [Loeb] won his first at 30. I'm in my 20s, so not over the hill yet. I've got another 10 years left in this sport. One year out isn't going to be a problem.

"But the sooner I'm back in a car the better. I'm more motivated than ever to get out there. I've also been training quite hard - more than before because I have more time. I'm four kilos lighter and fitter than ever - so when I come back, watch out."

The WRC heads to Australia next, but despite it being Atkinson's home event, he doesn't anticipate being there.

"I live in Monaco, and if I had a job to do there I'd be happy to go, but I'm not going to travel all the way home to watch a race I'd rather be driving in," he explained. "Of course I wanted to drive - but only if that was with a top-spec World Rally Car.

"When you've driven professionally there's no point turning up unless you can be competitive."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Chris Atkinson (AUS), Subaru WRT Impreza WRC 2007. Jordan Rally, April 24-27th 2008.
Chirs Atkinson (AUS) Subaru Impreza WRC 08, Subaru World Rally Team
Chris Atkinson (AUS) Stephane Prevot (B) Subaru impreza WRC 2008
Chris Atkinson (AUS) Stephane Prevot (BEL), Citroën C4 WRC, Citroën Junior Team
Chris Atkinson (AUS) Stephane Prevot (BEL), Citroën C4 WRC, Citroën Junior Team
Chris Atkinson (AUS), Citroën C4 WRC, Citroën Junior Team
Chris Atkinson (AUS) Subaru Impreza WRC 2008
Craig Breen and his Peugeot Academy team celebrate on Circuit of Ireland podium   [pic credit: ERC]
Emil Bergkvist - Opel Adam   [pic credit: ERC]
Craig Breen - Peugeot Rally Academy 208T16   [pic credit: ERC]
Kajetan Kajetanowicz. Circuit of Ireland Rally 2015 [Pic credit: ERC]
Robert Barrable. Circuit of Ireland Rally 2015 [Pic credit: ERC]
Craig Breen. Circuit of Ireland Rally 2015 [Pic credit: ERC]
Junior ERC: Chris Ingram, Peugeot UK [Credit: Chris Ingram Rally]
Tuthill Porsche, Circuit of Ireland Rally [Credit: Tuthill Porsche Media]
Simone Tempestini (ITA) Matteo Charciossi (ITA), Subaru Impreza
Meeke, Breen, Circuit of Ireland Rally [Credit: Circuit of Ireland Rally]
Simone Tempestini (ITA) Mateo Chiarcossi (ITA), Subaru Impreza, WRC2 Production Cup winners

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