A electrical problem that saw Chris Atkinson unable to start his car on day has put an end to his run of podium finishes. After matching the times of the front-runners during the day’s opener, it was to be the smallest of teething problems that befell the Impreza.
Atkinson was unable to start his car before the second test of the day with a simple electrical problem with the starter motor. He and Prévot tried desperately but were unable to continue the remaining stages. The duo have however taken part in the final day of competition.
The problem is not unexpected as the Acropolis Rally is the debut race for the new Subaru WRC2008.
Speaking about the retirement Atkinson said “It’s disappointing to retire of course, but we now use tomorrow to do more testing” commented Chris Atkinson. “It’ll be rough so we have to look after the car, but we’ll be pushing for sure.”
Certainly the signs were better on Sunday with Atkinson posting the fastest time on stage 1, the first stage win for the new car. Sadly a spin on the next stage means damage to the rear suspension and Atkinson was forced to retire. Meanwhile his team-mate Petter Solberg was able to hold onto second place a very good sign of the pace over a full rally of the new car.
Speaking after the event Atkinson said “It’s good to get the first stage win for the new car on its first rally; it’s a good feeling” saidChris Atkinson. “It obviously hasn’t been a good weekend for points for us, but other people have had bad luck this year and we were just unlucky this time. We wanted to see what the car would do and it felt good this morning, which showed in the speed. We can be faster though as there is still more to come. When we get the package just right we’ll be a lot faster still.”