Former Australian FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) full-time driver Chris Atkinson has joined the RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) in an official capacity.
Having a wealth of experience at the top level of rallying, Atkinson has been appointed as the ARC’s Competition Checker, where his main role will be to make sure all competition roads during ARC events are safe for crews.
At each ARC round, Atkinson will be behind the wheel between the Triple Zero and Double Zero cars on every stage to review the conditions in real time, confirming their suitability and safety for crews.
The 2012 FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) title holder will also do a full check of the course during recce to approve the stages before each rally begins.
The appointment is a major coup for the ARC, with Atkinson contesting 77 WRC rounds throughout his career, securing outright podium finishes on six occasions.
Highly respected within the ARC community, Atkinson was excited to return to the ARC and begin a new chapter in his accomplished rallying career.
“It’s great to be able to utilise my knowledge and experience of more than 20 years in rally to help the ARC continue to grow,” Atkinson said.
“The safety of crews is paramount to the ARC and I am excited to hold an important role in making sure the varying conditions are suitable for all cars and safe for all crews.
“I am really looking forward to getting involved and contributing to the ARC.”
Atkinson isn’t the only significant safety appointment for the ARC, with long-time senior official Belinda Howard named as Safety Delegate.
Considered one of the most knowledgeable individuals in the country in regard to safety, Howard’s role will involve her inspecting the stages from a human contact point of view.
At each stage, she will examine if all measures are correctly in place, including road closures, as well as looking out for any spectators or media who are in dangerous positions.
Atkinson and Howard will both begin their new roles with the ARC at this weekend’s The Middle of Everywhere Gippsland Rally.