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Q&A: David Richards - EXCLUSIVE.

by Rob Wilkins


Prodrive boss, David Richards was at the 2006 Rallyday on Saturday to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his success in the FIA World Rally Championship with Ari Vatanen. Here he speaks exclusively to Crash.net Radio about that event, his role in the WRC and Prodrive's F1 project...



Q:
David, you are here at the Rallyday, this is the first time you have attended the show. Have you been enjoying it so far?

David Richards:
Yeah we have had a very good day - it is typical rally weather unfortunately, the heavens opened on us. Nonetheless though, meeting up with lots of old friends is great and it is a good turn out from everybody here.

Q:
Is it nice to see the old cars again?

DR:
Yes it [the Rothmans Escort - Ari and I used in 1981] is a car that is kept in the Beaulieu Museum now and we can go down and borrow it occasionally, they are very good to us and we have had it out at Goodwood before. Ari hasn't driven it for a little while now and he is getting use to it [again].

Q:
Have you been out on the track?

DR:
Yes, I went around with Ari earlier this afternoon and just had a quick run around in the Escort and now I am off home.

Q:
Did it revive old memories?

DR:
It does actually. It reminded us just how dated it is compared to modern cars. Modern day road cars are so good and you get into an old Escort, that is 25 years old, and boy you see the difference!

Q:
Broadening the discussion slightly, obviously you are the commercial boss of the WRC and you are also head of Prodrive, who are going to be entering a team in F1 soon. Has the F1 project been more work that you might first have envisaged?

DR:
It is just starting now. It is early days yet, but I think it will build up over the next 18 months as we near 2008 and our first race. So I think it is the lull before the storm.

Q:
How is that going thus far?

DR:
It is fine - all on schedule.

Q:
Going back to the WRC are you going to stay involved with that?

DR:
Oh very much so, but less so on the media rights side of it and more so back with the team again at Subaru. I would like to get more involved with that next year. The TV rights, the media side stuff is mature now and we have got a great solid team of people in there, so it is time for me to stand back from that.

Q:
Subaru have had a tough season to date. We spoke to Subaru sporting director, Luis Moya a few weeks back, he is confident things will improve in the second half of the season. Do you think they will?

DR:
Well they have done a lot of testing and development work, Pirelli have been working hard on the tyres for the latter part of the year, so if everything comes together, I am sure they will be very good. As I say, I will be spending more time with the team towards the end of the season and certainly for next year.

Q:
Petter Solberg has re-signed with Subaru recently. That is obviously a boost isn't it?

DR:
Clearly it was anticipated, but nonetheless a good vote of confidence.

Q:


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
09.06.2006 Silverstone, England, . David Richards (GBR) Owner of Prodrive - Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 8, British Grand Prix, Friday
David Richards at the Rallyday 2006
David Richards, David Sutton, Tony Mason and Ari Vatanen pay their respects to Richard Burns and Michael Park at the 2006 Rallyday
Marco Tempestini (ITA) Nicola Arena (ITA), Subaru Impreza
Marco Tempestini (ITA) Nicola Arena (ITA), Subaru Impreza
David Llewellin in Metro 6R4 (1980s) [Pic credit: Reinhard Klien]
Lanica Stratos. Rallyday 2006 [Pic credit: Syd Wall / RallyingOnline Ltd - www.rallygallery.com]
Metro 6R4. Rallyday 2013 [Pic credit: Mark Sims / RallyingOnline Ltd - www.rallygallery.com]
Gianluca Linari (ITA) Nicola Arena (ITA), Subaru Impreza
Gianluca Linari (ITA) Nicola Arena (ITA), Subaru Impreza
Gianluca Linari (ITA) Nicola Arena (ITA), Subaru Impreza
Gianluca Linari (ITA) Danilo Fappani (ITA), Subaru Ipreza
Gianluca Linari (ITA) Danilo Fappani (ITA), Subaru Ipreza
Mark Higgins will drive the new JRM Subaru WRX
Gianluca Linari (ITA) Nicola Arena (ITA), Subaru Impreza
Gianluca Linari (ITA) Nicola Arena (ITA), Subaru Impreza
Gianluca Linari (ITA) Nicola Arena (ITA), Subaru Impreza
Gianluca Linari (ITA) Nicola Arena (ITA), Subaru Impreza

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