Atkinson in top spot

Aussie rally ace Chris Atkinson.
Aussie rally ace Chris Atkinson. BARRY LEDDICOAT

NEW South Welshman Chris Atkinson will head into this month's International Rally of Queensland on the Sunshine Coast in the Asia Pacific Championship lead.

But it will be his Indian teammate Guarav Gill who will have the wind at his back.

Gill won the second round of the championship at the waterlogged Rallye de Nouvelle Caledonie in New Caledonia on the weekend.

Atkinson, who took round one at New Zealand last month, maintained his position at the top of the leaderboard after finishing second behind Gill.

Heading into the May 25-27 International Rally of Queensland, MRF team's Atkinson sat on 64 points, eight ahead of Gill.

Only eight drivers crossed the finish line in New Caledonia after hot and wet conditions wreaked havoc on the field.

Gill managed to bypass most of the drama to claim 19 stage victories and the overall win.

"I'd really like to thank the team for this one, it was due to them we could keep going," Gill said.

"Everyone had issues and I'm sorry for what happened to Chris but the main thing is that it's still a one-two finish for MRF and the whole team can celebrate,"

Atkinson finished five minutes behind Gill with New Zealand's Brian Green in third.

Two-time Junior World Rally Champion PG Andersson of Sweden, who took Atkinson's place at rival team Proton this season, set the early pace but was stopped twice by electrical problems caused by water crossings and eventually retired.

Scotland's Alister McRae, the defending APRC champion, was out of contention on day one with suspension failure although he returned to claim three special stage wins.

International Rally of Queensland will also serve as rounds of the Australian Rally Championship, the Australian Classic Rally Series, Australian Side by Side Rally Challenge and Queensland Rally Championship.



Dates: May 25-27.

Involves: 230km of stages on the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

Tickets: From $20. Available from Caloundra Events Centre or

Topics:  chris atkinson international rally of queensland motor sport

Richmond MP continues to fights for MRI

Able Medico managing partner Mark Grahame, Richmond MP Justine Elliot with Medical Staff Council chariman Dr Mike Lindley-Jones.

Justine Elliot continues to fight for an MRI at Tweed Hospital.

Learning peace of mind

BEING MINDFUL: The children of St Anthony's Catholic Primary School learn mindfulness from Angela Lockwood.

Children learn how to handle stressful stituations.

Local Partners

Family's new arrival in face of tragedy

MEL Small had already gone into labour when she learned of the tragic fate of her sister Jodie Spears.

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Declan Kelly and the Rising Sun to shine bright at festival

Declan Kelly & The Rising Sun is one of the headlining acts at this year's festival.

Main stage set to pump with radiant reggae and dub vibes

Expert's talk on Olley's life is not to be missed

THE ARTIST: Artist Margaret Olley at the Tweed Regional Art Gallery in 2006.

RARE insight into the life of one of most cherished hoarders

Country star returns to roots

LIVIN' THE LIFE: Australian-born country music superstar Gord Bamford lands at Twin Towns on October 28.

Australian born, Canadian raised.

In Flames are super 'proud' of new album

In Flames album to be released in November.  Photo Contributed

In Flames to release new album in November

Selma Blair blames flight outburst on 'psychotic blackout'

Selma Blair

"I am someone who should never drink, and I rarely do"

Bob Dylan acknowledges Nobel Prize win

Bob Dylan has finally acknowledged his Nobel Prize win

WATCH: Trailer for Jackman's final Wolverine film released

First trailer for the last Wolverine film with Hugh Jackman.

Thrilling trailer promises a dark, dystopian finale for Wolverine

CCTV footage surfaces of Kim Kardashian West's robbers

The blurry footage shows three men on bikes and two on foot

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

Heavyweight enters real estate market

Des Besanko principal and director of Raine and Horne Springfield.

Major rebranding which has seen two big name brands merge

Bank could add towns to 'high-risk' home loan list

Suburban housing in Glenvale, Toowoomba, Friday, October 17, 2014. Photo Kevin Farmer / The Chronicle

NEW Gladstone region towns could be added unwanted bank list.

Tenants renting rooms on Airbnb breaching lease

Rental properties.

Tenants renting rooms on Airbnb is a no no