Chris Atkinson was left annoyed after a roll in Q3 dropped him out of contention for a top three spot in qualifying for the Americas Rallycross season opener at Silverstone.
The Subaru driver went into the third round of heats in fourth place, just one point out of the top three, but slipped down the order after being caught out by the kerbs in the entrance to the dirt section.
While Scott Speed and Liam Doran were fighting for the lead ahead of him, Atkinson was left with nowhere to go, with his Subaru climbing the high kerbs and pitching into a spectacular roll.
“It wasn’t a hard roll, but it’s a frustrating way to end the day, we should’ve really been up there in P3 but now we’re down in P6, so it’s a little bit annoying,” said Atkinson. “I got squeezed in there a bit and those barriers just grabbed the wheel and flipped me over … the crowd liked it.”
Despite the roll, Atkinson managed to continue the race, albeit ending the round in 10th and last place, which dropped him down the overall order for the day.
“It sets you on the backfoot as well because now I’m on the outside row for Q4, but I need a good result in that to make sure I’m in a good position for the semis,” he said. “You never like having a bad race but it [the ARX race format] makes it even more important, even more critical not to have those issues and to stay clean and get good starts and always be at the front. It’s super critical and we’ve got to work on that a little bit.”
Overall Atkinson was happy with the new Subaru package, which has shown flashes of pace throughout the weekend.
“The speed’s there in the car, we’re not too far away, we’ve just got to get the last few details right to make the difference,” said Atkinson. “We want to beat the VWs [off the line], we don’t want to be following them into turn one all the time and then just following them round. That’s not fun, we want to be in front of them. We’ve just got the work a little bit harder on some things and close the gap.”
“I know we’re one of the quickest cars out there so we’ve just got to steer clear of trouble which is always hard in the slower heats, and we’ve got to try and get out the front there,” he added. “I know we can do quicker lap times than them, but then that’s so important in this qualifying format.”