Hyundai Motorsport driver Chris Atkinson is aiming to win himself some more outings in the Korean manufacturer’s i20 WRC by putting in a strong performance at next month’s Rally Mexico (6-9 March).
The Australian’s impressive record on Mexico’s gravel stages – he finished second in 2008 and 6th last year – meant he was the logical choice to partner team leader Thierry Neuville at the first gravel rally of the 2014 season.
And having spent the last 12 months on the WRC sidelines, the one-time Subaru World Rally Team driver - pictured above (right) alongside co-driver Stephane Prevot - is determined to make the most of his opportunity with Hyundai.
“I’ve still got a lot of years – and good years – left in me and I’m massively motivated,” Atkinson told WRC.com. “Having a break makes you realise what you want and I know that I really want the WRC.
“We’ve got Mexico coming up and then Rally Australia towards the end of the year. I’d love to get some more events in between and hopefully a good performance in Mexico will increase the chances.”
Atkinson successfully completed his preparations for Mexico with a test in southern Spain earlier this week. The 34-year-old says he continues to be impressed with the progress that the i20 WRC has made in such a short space of time.
“The car keeps improving all the time, which is great,” he explained. “The team is working flat out to make improvements and keep learning. We’ve made some big steps forward after only two rallies and I think if we can get both cars to the finish, score some points and get some good gravel data in Mexico, that will be really cool.”