Herald Sun - Motoring - - Special Report -

CHRIS Atkin­son is be­ing let down by his car. Af­ter watch­ing world-class ral­ly­ing for 30 years and see­ing sev­eral gen­er­a­tions of world cham­pi­onship win­ners, it is ob­vi­ous to me Atkin­son has the skill and com­mit­ment for suc­cess.

But he is fight­ing a Subaru Im­preza that is a clear class be­hind the Citroens and Fords beat­ing him this year.

The Subaru has a fun­da­men­tal han­dling prob­lem. It is in­con­sis­tent and hard to drive.

Atkin­son knows it and so does his team leader, Pet­ter Sol­berg, but they are not al­lowed to talk about the car’s short­com­ings. Cor­po­rate pride comes first.

The prob­lem with the 2008 Im­preza looks much the same as the one the pre­vi­ous model had: badly flawed dampers. That much was ad­mit­ted, but only by Subaru WRC boss David Richards.

He says the sus­pen­sion prob­lems have been solved for the ’08 car, but watch­ing Atkin­son bat­tling through the New Zealand forests last week­end, it was hard to be­lieve him.


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