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Nov 22, 2012 - 08:17 AM
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World Rally Ace Scores Auto One Wildcard For V8 Ute Finale
Posted by: newsla on Nov 22, 2012 - 08:16 AM
Sports Cars
World Rally Ace Scores Auto One Wildcard For V8 Ute Finale

Professional Rally Driver Chris Atkinson will join the field for the Grand Finale’ of the 2012 Auto One V8 Ute Racing Series – protected by Armor All, as the Auto One Wildcard at the Sydney Telstra 500, 30th November – 2nd December.

Atkinson is no stranger to street circuits, having raced in Townsville (2009) alongside V8 Supercar driver Steve Owen in the MINI Challenge series, at Mount Panorama in the Bathurst 12 hour driving for the Subaru team, (finishing 2nd overall) and the 24 hour race at Nurburgring.


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“I’ve driven some tricky tracks, I’ve heard the walls are pretty close in Sydney so it’s going to be different driving the Ute around a proper street circuit,” said Atkinson.

Atkinson will be racing a Ute for the first time at the final round, and is hoping he can get some sort of testing in before he hits the track.

“It would have been great to get some time in the Ute, I’m going to be fresh out there and hopefully I’ll pick it up really quickly. I’m trying to get in a Ute at Morris Motorsport before next weekend so I’ll see how I go.”

The Queenslander is looking forward to his time in the V8 Ute in Sydney and will need to adjust his driving style.

“I’m not sure if I should follow the other guys or find my own way around the circuit. I’ve never raced a rear wheel drive vehicle, it will be my first time and I’ll need to be a bit more sensible with my right foot,” he said with a grin.

Atkinson drove with Team MRF winning this year’s Asia Pacific Rally Championship and he finished off the year driving for Team Mini Portugal replacing, Armindo Araújo, for the last five rounds of this year’s World Rally Championship.

He started his professional rally career with Rally New Zealand in 2004, driving a Subaru Impreza WRX STI, and was signed to drive in the 2005 World Rally Championship with the Subaru World Rally Team, alongside 2003 World Champion Peter Solberg. They placed 12th for the Season with Atkinson’s best result being a third in Japan and fourth on home-soil.

Atkinson claimed 10th overall in 2006 and 7th in 2007. He had his best result in 2008, placing 5th overall in the World Rally Championship and each year he competed in the Asian-Pacific Rally Championship was on the improve with a 5th in 2010, 2nd in 2011 and the win this year.

Atkinson will take to the track for the first time next Friday, 30th November for two practice sessions followed by Qualifying at 4:45pm.

See below full schedule V8 Ute Schedule for the Sydney Telstra 500:
Friday, 30th November Practice 1 9:40am
Friday, 30th November Practice 2 1:25pm
Friday, 30th November Qualifying 4:45pm
Saturday, 1st December Race 1 11:25am
Sunday, 2nd December Race 2 8:45am
Sunday, 2nd December Race 3 1:45pm

Race 1 & Race 3 will be televised LIVE on Network Seven (check local guides).

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