After asking you to vote for your leading drivers from the World Rally Championship season, the time has come to start the count-down to the driver you voted the top star of 2008.

Over the next five days, we will be revealing the top ten in reverse order, with two drivers being revealed each day.

After asking you to give each driver a mark out of ten for their performances during the season, each drivers' average score was calculated to decide the winner.

So today, seventh and eighth places...
WRC Driver of the Year - Eighth place:

Name: Chris AtkinsonTeam: Subaru World Rally TeamCar: Subaru Impreza WRCEvents 15Wins: 0Podiums (excluding wins): 5Stage wins: 4Championship points: 50 pointsChampionship position: 5th.

Results: 3rd on the Monte, 21st in Sweden (after off on day 1), 2nd in Mexico, 2nd in Argentina, 3rd in Jordan, 6th in Sardinia, did not finish in Greece, 13th in Turkey (under SupeRally - damaged suspension on day 1), 3rd in Finland, 6th in Germany, retired in NZ (mechanical), 7th in Spain, 6th in France, 4th in Japan, retired in Wales (crashed out).

Chris Atkinson may have had to wait a long time for that second podium (his first was in 2005), but once it came in 2008, after he was third in Monte Carlo, the flood gates opened.

Indeed he was second in Mexico and Argentina and third in Jordan - to take three rostrums in succession. He also finished third in Finland and in the end notched up 50 points in total, 4 more than team leader, Petter Solberg.

He is still, however, searching for that first win and with Subaru's exit, he may now never get the chance to do it.

WRC Driver of the Year - Seventh place:
Name: Gigi GalliTeam: Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally TeamCar: Ford Focus RS WRCEvents 10Wins: 0Podiums (excluding wins): 1Stage wins: 13Championship points: 17 pointsChampionship position: 9th

Results: 6th on the Monte, 3rd in Sweden, retired in Mexico, 7th in Argentina (used SupeRally), 8th in Jordan, 4th in Sardinia, retired in Greece, retired in Turkey (ill), retired in Finland (went off the road), retired in Germany (went off the road).

Gigi Galli is one of the most popular and charismatic drivers' in the WRC. It is no surprise then that he made the top ten in our poll and he started the year extremely positively, taking a podium finish on only his second outing with the Stobart Ford team.

Indeed in the first six events he was in the points in every event, bar just Mexico, and while things didn't go to plan after that, if he hadn't crashed out in Germany and broke his leg, his overall points tally would surely have been a lot higher.
Tomorrow: Who did you vote fifth and sixth?



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