15 Oct 09
Chris Atkinson has declined to comment on speculation linking him to a return to the WRC in 2010 as part of a new top-level team backed by Monster energy drink and led by American rally star Ken Block.
According to a story in the British press, Block is just weeks away from finalising a deal to run the 'Monster Energy Drink World Rally Team' in association with Ford's rally partner M-Sport, for the next three WRC seasons.
Block, who drives for the Monster-backed Subaru USA rally team, has tackled a handful of WRC rallies in the Group N class, but has become a rallying hero in his homeland thanks mainly to the 'Gymkhana' series of internet stunt driving videos, featuring him at the wheel of a rally-spec Subaru Impreza.
Block reportedly wants his friend, former Subaru driver Chris Atkinson, to join him in the team next year.
But while M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson has admitted talks with Block's management team have been going on for some time Chris Atkinson, who last made a WRC appearance on this year's Rally Ireland, wouldn't confirm or deny the story.
Chris's manager told wrc.com: "Our clear objective is to get Chris back in the WRC in a competitive car as soon as possible, and we're doing everything we can to make that happen. We're having ongoing discussions with a number of different parties for 2010 but, as you'd expect, we can't comment on any individual stories."
Block, meanwhile, has made no secret of his desire to have a serious attempt at the WRC. Speaking to WRC TV last month, he said: "I would love to have the opportunity to race in the WRC, I think my skill level is getting close as far as the actual driving, but I need a lot more experience, especially a lot more experience on the two-pass recce side. It's all about opportunities, though, and hopefully someday I’ll have that opportunity.
"To be able to do Rally Finland in a WRC car - that to me is the epitome of rallying - I would love to do that someday," he added.