Atko chases more Monster outings
Benito Guerra is sure he can fight for this year’s PWRC title after his perfect start in Mexico
Chris Atkinson is hoping to seal a deal to drive for the Monster World Rally Team on Brother Rally New Zealand and Neste Oil Rally Finland later this year, following his debut for the American outfit on last week’s Rally Guanajuato Mexico.
Atkinson impressed on his first ever Ford outing in the FIA World Rally Championship powered by Nokia. The Australian scored Monster’s first ever fastest time at world level and he was looking well set for a top-six finish when he suffered brake problems and went off the road mid-way through the second day of the event.
Atkinson said: “Having been part of the Monster World Rally Team in Mexico, I’m really, really pushing to make it happen in Finland and New Zealand. I felt like I really fitted in with the team, it was great - and really cool to see how those boys push the marketing and social media side of the sport. I’ve always got on really well with Ken [Block, Monster team-mate] and I reckon we make a good team.
“Everybody’s pushing hard to make the deal work for us to do more and those two rallies are two of my favourites.”
Atkinson has finished fourth previously in New Zealand and was on the podium with third last time out in Finland. Rally Guanajuato Mexico was Atkinson’s first WRC outing since the opening round of 2009 and his first ever in a Ford. He’s keen to see the inside of a Fiesta RS WRC more often.
“The car was awesome,” said Atkinson. “It was so cool to be back in a World Rally Car again. We had a few issues with the set-up early on and, to be honest, I was beginning to struggle a little bit, but then the guys figured out that the car was running too high, they lowered it and we were away and immediately around a second per kilometre closer to the pace.”
Monster World Rally Team has already committed Block to contesting rounds seven and eight of the series in June and August respectively.
More on WRC