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Q&A: Richard Taylor - Subaru: EXCLUSIVE.

I think Pirelli has done a very good job actually. I know a lot of the teams and the drivers were quite nervous about this change twelve months ago and what impact it would have and whether events would be decided significantly by punctures and so on. But that really hasn't been the case. The tyres have performed well and Pirelli has done a really good job with it.

Crash.net:
Would you like to see any changes made for the future, perhaps in terms of more compound choices and so on?

RT:
No, I think on the basis of the way it has worked now it has been fine. Obviously next year we are going to have the interesting feature of the snow tyre not being on special wheels and it will be fascinating to see how that goes. But I actually think what we have had this year has worked very well from every ones perspective - and I certainly hope it has from Pirellis too.

Crash.net:
The new Impreza was introduced back in June on the Acropolis. The team has lots of experience with the car now, how confident are you going into 2009?

RT:
We are obviously looking to make some further improvements. Everybody continually develops their car, as our competition will be doing too. I think now in the last couple of months we have definitely got the direction with the car right. The drivers' are feeling more confident with it now and we can go into 2009 looking for a big step forward and looking to be much closer and mixing it with Ford and with Citroen.

Crash.net:
There has been a lot of speculation about who might drive for Subaru next year. Can you re-clarify who will drive for the team?

RT:
Chris [Atkinson] and Petter [Solberg] are both contracted as has been publically known for a long time. They are both contracted and both will obviously be there in 2009.

Crash.net:
Any news yet on if you will run a third car in 2009?

RT:
We are still talking to a number of people. We are optimistic that we will be able to finalise something fairly soon. It is still very much our wish to run a third car next year.

Crash.net:
Is Guy Wilks still in contention?

RT:
Definitely yes, Guy is one of the people we are talking to and as always at this time of year everybody is looking at the options that they have got and what they will be doing next season. He is definitely in contention and as I said, is one of the guys we are in talks with.

Crash.net:
Subaru will effectively have a 'B' team next season, with the Adapta WRT fielding two Impreza's. How much will that help and could we see any other teams running Subaru's as well?

RT:
Our objective for next season was always to get a manufacturer team running with us and we are delighted that Adapta have chosen to do that. We have had a good relationship with the people there and with Morton Ostberg for many, many years now. He has been part of the Subaru family for ages. We are delighted to see them extending their WRC programme with us.

Crash.net:
There has been talk as well that Prodrive and Subaru might split. Is there any truth to that?

RT:
No, none at all. We are all working very hard together on getting the performance back to where it should be.

Crash.net:


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Richard Taylor, CEO Prodrive, Subaru World Rally Team. Rally Japan. 26-28th October 2007.
Richard Taylor (GBR), Managing Director, Subaru WRT. Acropolis Rally of Greece, 31st May - 3rd June 2007.
Richard Taylor (GBR), Subaru WRT Managing Director
Toyota`s new GT86 CS-R3 rally car
Marcus Gronholm and Mads Ostberg. Neste Oil Helsinki Battle 2014 [Pic credit: VW]
Markku Alen. Neste Oil Helsinki Battle 2014 [Pic credit: VW]
Markku Alen and Jari-Matti Latvala. Neste Oil Helsinki Battle 2014 [Pic credit: VW]
Fans. auto24 Rally Estonia 2014 [Pic credit: ERC]
Sander Parn. ERC 2WD winner. auto24 Rally Estonia 2014 [Pic credit: ERC]
Timmu Korge. Ford Fiesta R5. auto24 Rally Estonia 2014 [Pic credit: ERC]
Alexey Lukyanuk. Mitsubishi Lancer Evo. auto24 Rally Estonia 2014 [Pic credit: ERC]
Ott Tanak. Ford Fiesta R5. auto24 Rally Estonia 2014 [Pic credit: ERC]
Timmu Korge
Ott Tanak
Bryan Bouffier - Hyundai Shell World Rally Team
Dani Sordo. Hyundai i20 WRC. Goodwood Festival of Speed 2014
Dani Sordo. Hyundai i20 WRC. Goodwood Festival of Speed 2014
Simone Tempestini (ROM) Dorin Pulpea (ROM), Citroen DS3 R3

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