- BORN: November 30, 1979
- NATIONALITY: Australian
- HOMETOWN: Bega, New South Wales, Australia
Chris Atkinson joined Subaru Rally Team USA’s rallycross effort full time in 2017. The Aussie rally star is no stranger to Subaru’s motorsports programs. Between 2005 and 2008, he was the factory driver for Subaru World Rally Team alongside the 2003 WRC champion, Petter Solberg. Among his 41 WRC stage victories “Atko” was especially quick on the WRC’s shorter super special stages which are similar to rallycross courses.
He also has some tarmac experience from the Bathurst 12hr race and Nürburgring 24hr race when he finished 2nd in a Subaru Impreza WRX STI in 2006.
Growing up in Australia, Atko tried almost every sport possible from running to playing rugby but he soon realized that his true love was motorsports. He fell in love with motocross first but several injuries in the dirt track stopped him from being too much involved in two-wheels.
He then shifted his focus to schoolwork. He was so good with numbers that he was awarded an academic scholarship to Bond University where he majored in finance and accounting. He went to work as a stockbroker at 19. When he was 20 years old his brother Ben began rallying. Chris co-drove for him for a couple of events until one day he sat in the driver’s seat. The rest is history.
Chris’ strength may come from his amazing analyzation skills with numbers. At an ARX event you may find him staring at a computer screen often and studying his or his rival’s
split times in the paddock. His crossover skills of various competitive sports, motocross, rallying different cars, circuit racing and math are a perfect match for rallycross where he has to maneuver on tricky mixed surfaces with other powerful rallycross cars in his path. His input to SRTUSA engineers will also help develop the cars to ideal settings.
Chris lives in Gold Coast, Australia with his wife, Ashley and his two daughters, Ayva and Lyla. His hobbies include cycling and golfing. He enjoys coming to the US with his family to go on road trips when he is not racing or testing.