Telstra Rally Australia, the final round of the FIA World Rally Championship, has announced it will support young Australian rally hopefuls Chris and Ben Atkinson as they prepare to compete against the world's best rally drivers at Neste Rally Finland in August.

Since beginning their rally career the Queensland brothers have been on a meteoric rise towards the pinnacle of world rallying.

After claiming the 2002 Australian Privateers Cup the pair set off in a quest for the Asia-Pacific Championship where they successfully won the Super 1600 class in 2003.

Already this year they have shown blistering pace in the opening three rounds of the Globalstar Australian Rally Championship winning Rally Queensland and also being the pace setters during the Forest Rally WA and Subaru Safari Tasmania.

The Atkinson brothers will be driving a Tommi M?kinen Racing Subaru in the Neste Rally Finland and is looking forward to the challenge.

"We have heard many good things about Rally Finland, it is part of gaining valuable experience that will put us in a good position with our plans in the future on the world rally scene. It is renowned as one of the most challenging events in the Championship," said 24-year-old Chris Atkinson.

"Without the help from Telstra Rally Australia we would not be in a position to attend Rally Finland. It's a great opportunity and we can't wait to get there."

Telstra Rally Australia is also assisting Network TEN personnel to attend Neste Rally Finland so all of Australia can follow the Atkinson's progress through the network's flagship motorsport program, RPM.

"We are excited at the prospect of an Australian team competing in an international event, and possibly an international series next year and wish the boys every success in Finland," said John O'Hare, Telstra Rally Australia's general manager.

Neste Rally Finland is a round of the FIA World Rally Championship to be held on August 6-8 2004.