Turkey : Subaru World Rally Team - Finish
Subaru World Rally Team driver Chris Atkinson finished sixth on Rally Turkey today after a tense final Leg of competition which brought multiple changes to the top ten.
Atkinson started the day in a realistic pursuit of third
place, but a small mistake on the second test dropped him into the frantic battle for fourth instead. After 351 stage kilometres in some extremely difficult conditions, Chris finished the rally just nine seconds adrift of fourth place and 30.5 seconds off the podium.
After retiring on the second Leg, Petter Solberg restarted today to test different settings for the forthcoming gravel events. Solberg set the quickest time on two of the three stages.
“Apart from hitting the rock yesterday, the rally was actually quite good for us. The car has improved and we enjoyed being back again where we should be. Of course we are not happy with the overall result, but we're happy with the performance. We'll keep pushing harder as we know there is still much more to come.”
“It's been a tricky weekend as the speed is encouraging but still we want better results. We struggled with the set-up all weekend and trying to find the right balance, so it's good to get to the finish. We're sure to be trying in Australia as it's my home rally and we led there last year and want to get a strong result.”
Richard Taylor, Managing Director
"We leave Turkey in better shape than we have the past few events.
Petter collected seven fastest stage times, more than any other event this year. We were unfortunate not to get at least one car on the podium after determined drives in difficult conditions from both crews. We know that the development direction we are taking is correct and we are continuing to improve the car's performance. There is still much more to do, however we are now looking forward to Rally Australia where we hope to be challenging the top of the leaderboard again.”
Round 14 of the 2006 World Rally Championship is Rally Australia, which starts on 27 October. Whilst Europe gears up for winter, Australia is heading for summer and this will be the last time that the rally is held in Perth. Local hero Chris Atkinson mastered the gravel stages to lead in 2005, as did Petter Solberg before an encounter with a kangaroo put him out of the rally.
The stages are fast and flowing but the ‘ball bearing' surfaces punish the first car on the road, which has to sweep the surface clean for everybody else. Temperatures are usually hot, adding to the challenge of this extremely popular event.
Subaru World Rally Team