Chris Atkinson says he is relishing the prospect of contesting Rallye Monte-Carlo for PROTON Motorsports, despite acknowledging the “massive challenge” he will encounter on the IRC season opener, which runs from 18-22 January.
Australian Atkinson, who made his IRC debut for the Malaysian squad on last June’s Geko Ypres Rally, has prior experience of the asphalt event, which will celebrate its centenary next month.
He said, “Starting the season with the Monte is awesome. As a rally driver, this is the traditional place where we always start our year. I’ve always gone well on the event, but it is really tough. Running high in the Alps in January, you never know what’s really coming around the next corner: it could be dry asphalt, wet asphalt, snow or ice. It’s a massive challenge for the team and the driver, with one of the most important aspects being to get the [choices of] tyres right.”
Atkinson, 31, will be partnered in the British-based PROTON team by Swede P-G Andersson on Rallye Monte-Carlo.
Photos: Marcel Stawiczny www.marsta.com