Q&A: Richard Taylor - Subaru: EXCLUSIVE.


The Subaru World Rally Team will go to the Rally GB next week eager to end the season on a positive note and give itself a boost ahead of the start of the 2009 WRC campaign in Ireland.

Crash.net Radio's Rob Wilkins caught up with managing director Richard Taylor recently and spoke to him about December's round in Wales and got his thoughts on how things are looking for the future...

Richard, just Rally GB remains now - what is the team hoping to do there?

Richard Taylor:
Clearly historically GB has been a good event for us over the years. We will be looking to see another step forward on the pace we had in Japan and we obviously posted a few fastest stage times there too. We will be looking for podium finishes at the very least.

How have the teams' pre-event preparations been going?

Pretty well so far and as I said, following Japan, we obviously felt we had made some more good steps forward with the car. We hope to see a little bit more of that now in GB. We have still got our pre-event test to do because there are a couple of weeks left until the event [Richard was speaking on November 20 - Ed]. It is early days. But we are looking forward to seeing some improvements.

How big a challenge is Rally GB?

I think all events are a significant challenge. GB is not a logistical challenge for us - indeed it is the least logistically challenging event for obvious reasons. But the stages and the conditions could be very, very challenging indeed this year.

Of course this year the route has been revised slightly and the weather is always a factor too in Wales...

That is right - it can be. Not only have we got some stages that haven't been used for a while and a different route, but we are also running a little bit later in the year. It is in the first week of December and the weather could be very variable. We will all be doing it on one tyre this year too. I think it could be a very interesting challenge.

Overall, how would you sum up 2008 for Subaru?

We have got to be realistic. We haven't won any rallies yet [this year] and that is not what we set out to do. We really aimed with the new car to get a couple of wins in at the very least. Obviously we are not going to be able to do two now [as there is only one round left]. We have had a couple of podiums with the new car and we had a few good podiums with the old car too. But overall we haven't quite got to the level of performance that we aimed to.

The WRC switched to a control tyre this season and in addition the choice of compounds was restricted. Run-flat mousse was also outlawed. How good a job has Pirelli done in your view?


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Richard Taylor, CEO Prodrive, Subaru World Rally Team. Rally Japan. 26-28th October 2007.
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Richard Taylor (GBR), Subaru WRT Managing Director
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