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Old 09-07-2007, 11:01 AM   #1
Ferg
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Default AtKinson set to stay until '09..but what about that other guy?

Quote:
Subaru extend Atkinson's contract

Friday, September 7th 2007, 08:38 GMT
The Subaru World Rally Team have extended Chris Atkinson's contract until the end of the 2009 season, it was announced on Friday.

Australian Atkinson was first signed by Subaru in 2005, and made his competitive debut on that season's Rally of Sweden.

He has started a total of 42 rallies with the Japanese squad, with a third place in Rally Japan 2005 as his best result.

"It's great news, and I'm very much looking forward to continuing my relationship with Subaru," said Atkinson.

"Even though the last couple of seasons haven't always been easy, I think our recent results show we've turned a corner now with the performance of the car, and I'm confident we'll see improved form as we go forward.

"It's an exciting time to be part of Subaru's WRC programme and a terrific opportunity for me personally. There is an excellent team of people in the UK and Japan who all want to see a Subaru on the top step of the podium, and you can be sure I'll be doing everything I can to make that happen."

This year, Atkinson has finished fourth on three rallies and has set 12 fastest stage times.

"I'm delighted to announce that we have secured Chris's services for a further two seasons," said Subaru World Rally Team managing director Richard Taylor. "Over the last 12 months he has shown excellent pace on many occasions and is now backing this up by producing strong results.

"Chris's driving has clearly moved up a level in recent events and we expect to see him on the podium before the end of this season. I look forward to Subaru giving him his first WRC victory in the not too distant future."
If the rumor mill is to be believed Solberg will jump ship at the end of this season to join Loeb at Citroen, which does make the mouth water just a little...
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Old 09-07-2007, 11:33 AM   #2
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Solberg leaving would be good, he's a nice guy, but he's an emo bastard. He just signed a 5 year contract, but contracts apparently don't mean much latey.
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Old 09-07-2007, 01:17 PM   #3
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Didn't he already sign an 09' contract last year?

But if he does move, hopefully he will finally win as Subaru is keeping the Solberg man down!
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Old 09-07-2007, 02:01 PM   #4
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Well... the other guy is JUST the last guy to give Subaru a title. So think a little more before talking about him. It's so great to have Chris until 2009. I'd like to see Latvala/Atkinson but i'm ok with Solberg/Atkinson. Chris has stepped up since partnering with Prévot. Too bad this hasn't happenned sooner.
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Old 09-07-2007, 02:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRodrigues View Post
Well... the other guy is JUST the last guy to give Subaru a title. So think a little more before talking about him. It's so great to have Chris until 2009. I'd like to see Latvala/Atkinson but i'm ok with Solberg/Atkinson. Chris has stepped up since partnering with Prévot. Too bad this hasn't happenned sooner.


Nobody has been able to win two championships with Subaru, ever...

Petter should consider leaving if he wants to have a chance at winning one BUT...

Nobody is going to pay Hollywood the Hollywood dollars or potentially build a car and team around him (for better or worse).

Solberg as a contract, Pons has a contract, Chris signed a new one so...

meh...
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Old 09-07-2007, 02:20 PM   #6
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SWRT said a bit ago that Petter is staying put until the end of his contract.

But I still say if they new car is a dud, all bets are off.
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Old 09-07-2007, 02:41 PM   #7
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I really dont see Petter going to citroen.. ford maybe but citroen no.

Petter is a good driver no doubt but when he was younger and more hungry the car never mattered. Also the cars are more even than before (actually ahead of what subaru has now) and the drivers are getting better and better in there technical driving with the same crews running the same stages several times over the past several years to the notes are pretty much next to perfect exempting small changes on the particuar day.

Remember how Gronholm shot to the top like a bat out of hell before SuperPetter and then Loed after him... this may just be his time before a second surge in his career. The car is a little behind sure, the rubber makers have fought about everyting sure, but he still has a job so my opinion is quit your soap opera and do the best you can.

The best person i can think of who continues to do that is Armin Schwarz(sp) at skoda.

Yes is a superb driver and former world champion but he really isnt as hungry as he used to be.
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Old 09-07-2007, 09:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by JRodrigues View Post
Well... the other guy is JUST the last guy to give Subaru a title. So think a little more before talking about him.
Run a diagnostic on your sarcasm detector please.
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Old 09-08-2007, 12:18 AM   #9
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JRodrigues does have a point though, may are quick to criticize and forget about Solberg's achievements. WRC is not an exact science and even the best drivers sometimes lose because of thousand different and constantly changing variables. Solberg has been a good sport about his bad luck- I've heard little cursing and he has certainly censored his recent feelings towards Subaru when in the limelight. WRC is a tough game to play, only the top 5 or 6 drivers get decent press coverage and many with bad luck (ie Sordo) quickly fall out of the spotlight. Anyways, win or not, I still think Petter's an asset to WRC... and his accent is hillarious to boot (though not as good as Manfred's!)
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Old 09-08-2007, 01:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ten80 View Post
JRodrigues does have a point though, may are quick to criticize and forget about Solberg's achievements. WRC is not an exact science and even the best drivers sometimes lose because of thousand different and constantly changing variables. Solberg has been a good sport about his bad luck- I've heard little cursing and he has certainly censored his recent feelings towards Subaru when in the limelight. WRC is a tough game to play, only the top 5 or 6 drivers get decent press coverage and many with bad luck (ie Sordo) quickly fall out of the spotlight. Anyways, win or not, I still think Petter's an asset to WRC... and his accent is hillarious to boot (though not as good as Manfred's!)



The question that leads many to not support Petter is: Is Petter part of the problem or is it totally external factors. In 04 and 05 is looked like over driving was the problem. From 05 to 06 there were serious changes in the car and Petter wanted to be more involved in the car and in the team and team management (calling for special meetings, all be demanding certain modifications and developments). As Petter became more insistent the car seemingly got worse all the way to the WRC07... I think Petter is a great driver BUT, like Markko Martin, I need to see him challenge for the win at the end of a couple rallies before he is back up there as being a premier driver.

Part of being a great driver, especially a lead driver, is being a great leader and developer. Gronholm has contributed to the success of the Focus, Loeb was a hugely integral part of the success of the C4's development, since Tommi left the Impreza WRC has gone down hill.

I think Petter has great ability and mechanically is very knowledgeable but I can't help but question his ability to develop and guide the evolution of the a car. If the WRC08 isn't a huge improvement I don't think there is any doubting how big of a part of Subaru's fall from grace their "ace" has played (obviously is the car rocks then I'll eat my words in a heart beat but...).
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Old 09-08-2007, 02:10 AM   #11
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Solberg doesnt get along at all with Loeb and is use to being the primary driver. I cant see him moving to Citroen.

-Tim
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Old 09-08-2007, 06:29 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by OBShahn View Post
Part of being a great driver, especially a lead driver, is being a great leader and developer. Gronholm has contributed to the success of the Focus, Loeb was a hugely integral part of the success of the C4's development, since Tommi left the Impreza WRC has gone down hill.
Yep, Makinen was a great advantage to the development of the car when he was at Subaru. But Loeb isn't any better than Solberg. The C4 isn't a winning machine as the Xsara was. Why? The Xsara was developed by someone with the name Sainz.
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Old 09-08-2007, 10:41 AM   #13
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Eh that argument only goes so far...Sainz spent a few seasons developing the Focus and it wasn't what you would call a world killer. A driver can't singlehandedly speed up the development of a new car or turn a crap car around, although I've heard of a few who could turn a good car into crap but that's another topic.

There are plenty of reasons why Subaru has fallen down the pecking order..take your pick...out dated platform, Prodrive stretched way to thin, tires, tires, and um tires. Every racing program naturally goes through highs and lows, the only surprising thing about SWRT's low is that it's gone on for this long, and sadly at a time when both Citroen and Ford are both at high points...

Maybe the new platform will swing things around, maybe shaking up their technical, engineering, and driving staffs are what's needed...and maybe DR needs to stop fussing about with customer McLarens and Astons and get himself a nice big stick and start beating some heads about.

I've got mountains of respect for both Solberg and Prodrive so I'll keep my fingers crossed they'll eventually get things turned around. If that means not working together then fine, that's motor racing.
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Old 09-09-2007, 12:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralliart4 View Post
I really dont see Petter going to citroen.. ford maybe but citroen no.

Petter is a good driver no doubt but when he was younger and more hungry the car never mattered. Also the cars are more even than before (actually ahead of what subaru has now) and the drivers are getting better and better in there technical driving with the same crews running the same stages several times over the past several years to the notes are pretty much next to perfect exempting small changes on the particuar day.

Remember how Gronholm shot to the top like a bat out of hell before SuperPetter and then Loed after him... this may just be his time before a second surge in his career. The car is a little behind sure, the rubber makers have fought about everyting sure, but he still has a job so my opinion is quit your soap opera and do the best you can.

The best person i can think of who continues to do that is Armin Schwarz(sp) at skoda.

Yes is a superb driver and former world champion but he really isnt as hungry as he used to be.
I doubt Ford will let Groholm or Hirvonen go anytime soon. Those guys get on great w/the team and Christian Loreaux's Focus is a very potent machine.

I'm glad that Subaru signed Pons. He's got speed and he's still young enough to mould into a world champ.

I wish they'd bring on Tommi as a technical advisor/driver manager to teach the new generation. He could help in development of the Impreza as well.
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