by Rob Wilkins

Subaru's sporting director, Luis Moya talks exclusively to Crash.net Radio on the Thursday prior to the start of the Rally GB. Here he chats about the teams' new car, their pre-2007 test programme and lots, lots more...

Q:
Luis, things seem to have got better for Subaru towards the end of the season, but what happened in New Zealand?

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Luis Moya:
We had big reliability problems and that is what we have to concentrate on now and that is what we are doing, concentrating on the reliability for next season. At the first three rallies next season we will have the old car, but from Mexico we will have the new one. So, from then on, hopefully we can do much better.

Q:
What are the main changes to the 2007 spec-car?

LM:
There is a little bit everywhere. There is a little bit on the suspension, the geometry and trying to address all the problems we had this year, trying to improve the weight distribution and all these things. But it is not a revolution, it is just an evolution of the Impreza - and it will not look too much different.
Q:
That's the trend now though isn't it to evolve the cars and keep developing them all through the year?

LM:
Yeah, we always try to improve and make it as fast as we can. I am sure we will be competing for the world championship next year.

Q:
You have got an intensive test schedule planned post-Rally GB haven't you?

LM:
There is a test straight after this event in Spain - it is an endurance test with the new car and it is over four-days long. We will try and do things properly for next year and try not to make the same mistakes.

Q:
You have more tests planned after that in Monte Carlo and Sweden and don't you?

LM:
Of course, there is a pre-Monte Carlo test and then a test for Sweden. Next year we only have 48 or 46 days of testing [under the new rules], it is quite limited, so we have to ensure we do as good a job as we can.

Q:
It's quite a short break between the Rally GB and the Rally Monte Carlo - quite a contrast to the long summer break between Greece and Germany. No chance to put your feet up then?

LM:
No we never stop. That is something that has been happening in rallying in all the history of the sport. When you finish the last rally of the season, which is normally Wales Rally GB, and then immediately, the following week you are testing for the next season. That isn't very nice for the driver or manufacturer that wins the championship because you want to enjoy it and have some time to celebrate it with your sponsors and your people and you can't. You just have to concentrate on the following season. But that is the way it is.

Q:
Looking to 2007, are there any events that will be especially tough for Subaru or will the team be good on all of them?

LM:
Well, we will have to see when the season starts. We will have to try to make no mistakes in Monte Carlo, because it is always good to start with some good points. It doesn't mean winning, but at least some good points. Then we will go to Sweden and Norway and we know we can do well there and once we get the new car the story will be different.

Q:
Are Petter [Solberg] and Chris [Atkinson] both feeling positive about next season?

LM:
Absolutely, they know we are going to improve. It's quite easy to improve on what we did this season though! This season was not good at all. It was a disaster. But they are positive. They know we are working in the right direction and they just have to be patient.

Q:
Do you expect Ford and Citroen to provide stiff opposition?

LM:
They will be the opposition, it is difficult to say who will be faster, but Sebastien [Loeb] will be as fast as he has been this year. He will have the new car - the Citroen C4 WRC - and we will have to see how that performs. But they will not come with the C4 without testing properly, so I am sure it will be competitive. Citroen and Ford will be our principal rivals.

Q:
Will the C4 enjoy the same level of success as the Xsara?

LM:
We will have to see. It is very early to say. That question should be asked to Citroen, maybe they know already having tested the two cars back-to-back, but at the moment we don't know.