Chris Atkinson and WRC Japan
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  1. #1
    XTC
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    Default Chris Atkinson and WRC Japan

    He's certainly a star in the making ...

    http://www.rally.com.au/home/latestnews/articleid=1770

    Australian Chris Atkinson has traded stage times with World Champions Petter Solberg, Sebastien Loeb and Marcus Gronholm to be in fourth position at the end of the opening day in Rally Japan near Obihiro today. Atkinson and his co-driver Glenn Macneall began the day in sensational fashion to set the fastest time across the opening stage, the 9.05km Pawse Kamuy test, by 1.3 seconds ahead of Solberg.

    When claiming the honours in the opening stage Atkinson became the first Australian driver in recent history to lead a round of the World Rally Championship but as with many of his achievements the Queenslander took this achievement in his stride and is maintaining his focus on achieving a good overall result.

    “It’s pretty cool, but we’re not here to fight with these guys for the lead, we are here to get as much experience as possible and get to the finish in the best position possible,” said Atkinson.

    Showing true natural talent Atkinson continued his blistering pace throughout the ensuing stages and exchanged the rally lead with Solberg on three occasions during the opening four tests.

    On the longest stage in the World Rally Championship, the mammoth 50.06km Kunneywa-Niueo test, it was Atkinson who shined brightest to claim the stage win by four seconds over Solberg, the fifth stage victory in his WRC career.

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    Throughout this afternoon’s five stages Atkinson maintained his composure to put in some very respectable times amongst the world’s best to remain inside the top five.

    “On the longest stage this afternoon we got caught up behind and in the dust of Anthony Warmbold who has some problems which made it difficult to see for about 10 kilometres and cost us some time but overall we are very happy with the day,” said Atkinson.

    “To run amongst the caliber of drivers that we have today has been a little suprising but gives me confidence but we won’t be taking any risks over the next two days and aim for a solid result.”

    Atkinson has previously contested this event on two occasions previously aboard a Super 1600 spec Suzuki. In 2004 he won the Super 1600 class and finished 12th outright.

    “Being here before definitely helps with your confidence as no I am the same as the other guys who have were here last year,” said Atkinson.

    “One of the most pleasing facts is that we aren’t pushing any harder than we have in the last few events but our speed has come more from the knowledge of the local conditions because we have competed on these roads before.”

    Solberg, the 2003 World Champion, leads the way ahead of Sebastien Loeb and Marcus Gronholm.

    Australian Champion Cody Crocker is also competing in Rally Japan aboard a Group N (Production) spec Subaru Impreza. Crocker is currently third in his class and 16th outright.

    The rally continues tomorrow with the second of three legs consisting of 12 stages across 100.98 competitive kilometres. Today’s opening leg was the longest in the event, and also one of the longest in the World Rally Championship with crews contesting a total of 163.36 competitive kilometres.

    Top Ten After Leg One
    1. Solberg 1:31:20.2
    2. Loeb+22.9
    3. Gronholm +34.5
    4. Atkinson +1:36.6
    5. Rovenpera +1:54.2
    6. Galli +2:10.7
    7. Duval +2:11.9
    8. Kresta +2:50.6
    9. Gardemeister +2:53.4
    10. Carlsson +3:14.4
    13. Crocker +10:54.4
    You're not fooling everyone, or did you forget? .......




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    Fellow Frogger! Pate's Avatar
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    Congratulations Australia, Atkinson's first WRC podium!

    Marcus dedicated his win to Michael "Beef" Park!


    Peugeot goes from strenght to strenght!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pate
    Congratulations Australia, Atkinson's first WRC podium!

    Marcus dedicated his win to Michael "Beef" Park!


    Peugeot goes from strenght to strenght!
    What were the final placings?


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    Default Japan Rally

    I'll do the best I can!

    Position 1-8 A good result for Australia as well as the French. Loeb wins the 2005 Rally Drivers Championship for France and two French cars are P1 & P2.

    The results are for the overall results

    1 Gronholm/Rautiainen
    Peugeot 307 3h25'32"0 102.2 km/h

    2 Loeb/Elena
    Citroen Xsar 3h26'54"1 + 01'22"1

    3 Atkinson/Macneall
    Subaru Impre 3h28'12"0 + 02'40"0

    4 Duval/Smeets
    Citroen Xsar 3h28'31"4 + 02'59"4

    5 Rovanpera/Pietilainen
    Mitsubishi L 3h29'31"8 + 03'59"8

    6 Gardemeister/Honkanen
    Ford Focus W 3h30'04"3 + 04'32"3

    7 Kresta/Tomanek
    Ford Focus W 3h31'04"0 + 05'32"0

    8 Carlsson/Andersson
    Peugeot 307 3h32'11"1 + 06'39"1

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    Whoo-hoo ...

    Roll on Rally OZ !!


    From wrc.com

    Atkinson gets first podium

    Subaru's Chris Atkinson has said he's delighted to have scored the best result of his World Rally Championship career so far on this weekend's Rally Japan. The young Australian, who stepped up to the sport's top level this year with the works Subaru team, finished third on the far-east forest gravel event.

    Atkinson briefly led the rally by topping the timesheets on the first two stages, but fell back to seventh on Saturday's second leg. Problems for several rivals and a solid final leg drive helped the Australian to climb back up the order, however. Rally Japan is the first event on this year's calendar of which Atkinson has prior experience from previous years. He has competed on the Hokkaido stages on two previous occasions, and said the local knowledge definitely helped.

    "It's awesome," Atkinson said. "I'm more than happy with the result and to get my first ever podium is pretty special. We've done this rally before and today's result just goes to show how much difference experience can make. I can't wait for next year! We took things fairly steady yesterday when the road conditions were difficult but today the whole package felt good and we decided to push a little harder. Things worked out perfectly."

    Subaru team boss David Lapworth was quick to praise for Atkinson. He said before the rally that he was looking for a strong result from Atkinson, thanks to the 27-year-old's previous experience on the event. "Chris has put a tick in all the boxes this weekend," Lapworth added. "He has driven consistently, fast, under pressure and on some extremely difficult roads and I'm sure he'll benefit a lot from the experience."
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    Good job by Atkinson, and congrats to Loeb on winning the drivers title, and Gronholm on the rally win.

    What happened to Solberg? He was easily leading when he retired near the end. What was the problem?

    Troy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TroyO
    What happened to Solberg? He was easily leading when he retired near the end. What was the problem? Troy.
    Solberg hit a rock, and broke the steering.

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    Solberg pretty much had the rally wrapped up after Day 2 with only 4-5 stages to run. Shame he was driving really well and Gronholm probably wouldn't have caught him.

    Good result for Atkinson. He had only finished in the points once this year in Rally NZ.

    A shame for Galli to not get anything as he was really flying through some of the stages.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PLAYLIFE
    Solberg pretty much had the rally wrapped up after Day 2 with only 4-5 stages to run. Shame he was driving really well and Gronholm probably wouldn't have caught him.

    Good result for Atkinson. He had only finished in the points once this year in Rally NZ.

    A shame for Galli to not get anything as he was really flying through some of the stages.
    It's good to have these kind of things sometimes happening for someone else than Marcus Gronholm. Marcus has lost about 7-8 victories on strange happenings on last leg. He has driven over a rock on the middle on the road (just like Solberg), he has driven over metal rod that punctured his co-drivers seat, he has had plastic (old model) water pump that actually was worse than official water pump but was disqualified, he has had hand brake that came on by itself on last leg, he has hit the rock gently on the inner curve but the whole right side of his tyre support and powertrain ripped off (could have made it to service but that damage caused motor damage) on the other rally he was heading for the service with 3 wheels but Police in England stopped and prevented his driving.

    But he has won in Finland with just 3 gears left on his gearbox on 3 stages (others had 6) and has won in Finland with no pacenotes on 3 stages (Timo couldn't talk) also won that 1st stage (over 20km)!.

    If ever someone has given a victory by luck I think Marcus and Peugeot team really deserved it this time!

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    Only the second time an Aussie has finished on the podium of a WRC round, the first being Ross Dunkerton at New Zealand in 92.

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    This says it all ->
    Podium

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    Didn't even make the news tonight (this side of the country) .. will check the SBS and ABC broadcasts .. this is BIG news Australia WAKE UP !!

    - xTc -
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    Quote Originally Posted by XTC
    Didn't even make the news tonight (this side of the country) .. will check the SBS and ABC broadcasts .. this is BIG news Australia WAKE UP !!

    - xTc -

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    Quote Originally Posted by PLAYLIFE
    This country will never wake-up to international motor racing. If it ain't a V8 supercar, then it ain't worth mentioning.
    Didn't make ABC news ... pathetic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pate
    It's good to have these kind of things sometimes happening for someone else than Marcus Gronholm. Marcus has lost about 7-8 victories on strange happenings on last leg. He has driven over a rock on the middle on the road (just like Solberg), he has driven over metal rod that punctured his co-drivers seat, he has had plastic (old model) water pump that actually was worse than official water pump but was disqualified, he has had hand brake that came on by itself on last leg, he has hit the rock gently on the inner curve but the whole right side of his tyre support and powertrain ripped off (could have made it to service but that damage caused motor damage) on the other rally he was heading for the service with 3 wheels but Police in England stopped and prevented his driving.

    But he has won in Finland with just 3 gears left on his gearbox on 3 stages (others had 6) and has won in Finland with no pacenotes on 3 stages (Timo couldn't talk) also won that 1st stage (over 20km)!.

    If ever someone has given a victory by luck I think Marcus and Peugeot team really deserved it this time!

    Not only this year, but Marcus had a lot of bad luck last year as well.

    However this rally Solberg had commanded the whole way, and it wasn't until the penultimate stage where he hit a massive rock which was lying in the middle of the road, breaking his suspension and spearing him off into the trees. They went to interview him at the scene but he couldn't answer and walked off he was that upset.

    Nontheless a good win for Gronholm and Peugeot, Marcus of course dedicating the win to 'beef'.

    Marcus did push him all the way and had the gap down to only 20 seconds, a great drive by both men.
    Last edited by PLAYLIFE; 5th October 2005 at 11:11 AM.
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    Fantastic result for Chris, and one he really needed

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    It wasn't just the suspension that Solberg damaged. The brake rotor was smashed into a number of large segments and deposited themselves on the road before the car ran into the bushes. Of course, without said rotor, Petter could not pull the car up in time.

    The first response he made after the car stopped was "No brakes, No brakes"

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueyZarzov
    It wasn't just the suspension that Solberg damaged. The brake rotor was smashed into a number of large segments and deposited themselves on the road before the car ran into the bushes. Of course, without said rotor, Petter could not pull the car up in time.

    The first response he made after the car stopped was "No brakes, No brakes"

    Not sure if you've seen the footage, but as soon as he hit the rock he was straight into the trees. He did mention that he had no brakes and the rotor was cracked clean in half, but that was of little consequence as he had no chance either way.
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