26 Jan 08
Subaru's Chris Atkinson was the fastest driver through SS13, beating rally leader Sebastien Loeb by almost ten seconds, and becoming the only non Citroen driver to take a stage win so far this season.
Atkinson recorded the first asphalt stage win of his career on the same 25km section last year.
Subaru team manager Paul Howarth wasn't surprised by Atkinson's pace, "The high-speed nature of the St Bonnet stage really seems to suit him," said Howarth. "We saw last year that he can be phenomenally good there. Given the similar weather conditions I was quietly confident that Chris could do it again."
Despite approaching this rally with last year's Impreza, and modest expectations of success, the Subaru World Rally Team is on course for one of its best results for a long time. If Atkinson remains third and Solberg fifth, the team could leave Monte Carlo as joint leaders of the manufacturers' championship.