Australian driver Chris Atkinson says his lack of experience of current specification World Rally Cars will not hinder him on his WRC return on next month's Rally Mexico.
Atkinson, who will contest the Leon-based event as part of a two-car Monster World Rally Team, tested a 1600cc WRC for the first time last week. He hasn't competed in the World Championship since 2009.
"The power is not too dissimilar to the old cars," said Atkinson. "I was quite surprised about that. The other thing which took a little time to get used to is the way the Fiesta moves around a little bit. Ford has gone down the road of long suspension travel and quite a soft car, which clearly works really well – the car won the last round in Sweden!
"Before the test I wasn't used to this, but it didn't take long before I was comfortable with it and then really enjoying it. These cars are fantastic to drive and I reckon they're easier to get up to speed with than the older generation cars. I'm not worried about that for Rally Mexico."
Atkinson added that his time in a Proton Satria-Neo S2000 car has helped him prepare for his return.
"The transmissions, with the sequential shift in place of the paddles is the same as what I was using in the Proton," he said, "so that's no problem to get used to."
Atkinson added that he was hoping a strong performance in central America could lead to him joining Block's Monster team in New Zealand and Finland.
"I always said I wanted to do three or four rallies this year. Let's see how Mexico goes, but I can see why Ken [Block] is going for the other two WRC rounds he's doing this year – New Zealand and Finland are pretty high on my list, too!"