Chris Atkinson will join the field for the grand finale of the 2012 Auto One V8 Ute Racing Series next weekend, as the Auto One Wildcard at the Sydney Telstra 500, it has been announced.
Atkinson, who won the APRC this season with Team MRF and who also competed in the WRC, after being drafted in to the WRC MINI Team Portugal line-up in August, is no stranger to street circuits.
Indeed he raced in Townsville in 2009, alongside V8 Supercar driver Steve Owen in the MINI Challenge series, and he has also raced at Mount Panorama in the Bathurst 12 hour driving for the Subaru team – and finishing second overall - and in the 24 hour race at the famous Nurburgring.
“I've driven some tricky tracks, I've heard the walls are pretty close in Sydney so it's going to be different driving the Ute around a proper street circuit,” he said.
Atkinson will be racing a Ute for the first time at the final round, and is hoping he can get some sort of testing in before he hits the track.
“It would have been great to get some time in the Ute, I'm going to be fresh out there and hopefully I'll pick it up really quickly. I'm trying to get in a Ute at Morris Motorsport before next weekend so I'll see how I go.”
The Queenslander is looking forward to his time in the V8 Ute in Sydney and will need to adjust his driving style.
“I'm not sure if I should follow the other guys or find my own way around the circuit. I've never raced a rear wheel drive vehicle, it will be my first time and I'll need to be a bit more sensible with my right foot,” he said with a grin.
Atkinson will take to the track for the first time in the V8 Ute Racing Series next Friday (November 30) for two practice sessions followed by qualifying. Race 1 then takes place on Saturday (December 1) with races 2 and 3 on Sunday (December 2).