The Australian broke a left-rear toe-link on his MINI John Cooper Works WRC, which helps to keep the wheel properly aligned, towards the end of the event-closing Power Stage. He was able to limp to the stage end - albeit with the loss of 10th place and the final WRC point - and make it back to the finish in Cardiff after carrying out emergency repairs by the side of the road.
“Towards the end of the last stage with two splits to go we broke our left-rear toe control link,” said Atkinson, who was also slowed by a faulty gear indicator earlier in the day. “We held Sebastien Ogier off, but in one stage we dropped 1m30s to Nasser Al-Attiyah and fell back down to 11th. Fortunately, I was able to temporarily jury rig the spare wheel so that we could get the car back to service.”
The 32-year-old continued: “I’m satisfied with what we achieved in Wales. Our pace was nice and consistent, always close to the targets we set coming into the event. We were hoping to be one second kilometre off the pace and we’ve been there or thereabouts most of the time.”
However, there was no finish for Atkinson’s fellow WRC Team MINI Portugal driver Paulo Nobre, who retired on the road section heading to stage 17 when a vibration caused the alternator cable to fail.