by Rob Wilkins
TO HEAR THE INTERVIEW IN FULL WITH RICHARD TAYLOR: CLICK HERE
The Subaru World Rally Team has been a lot more competitive this season and there seems to be definite signs that the Banbury-based outfit is making real progress. Crash.net Radio
caught up with managing director Richard Taylor recently to get his thoughts on the year so far and to get the latest on the new Impreza, which is due to make its debut in the WRC in the not to distant future...
Richard, Subaru have 33 points on the board - and is currently third in the manufacturers' championship, 11 points off the leaders, Ford. How happy is the team with the results so far?
We are pretty pleased actually with the way things have gone. We would really rather it was 39 points, because Petter [Solberg] should have been able to finish second in Argentina without that problem on the last day. But 33 points is the best start to the season we have had for a while. Overall we are pretty happy with that.
Has it made any difference now that Prodrive and David Richards are more focused on the WRC team as opposed to working on that still-born F1 project?
Obviously the team runs independently within Prodrive and so the team has always been completely focused on the Subaru project in the WRC. But having David's increased input this year has helped.
Chris Atkinson seems to have had a very strong start - with three podiums from four events, but Petter hasn't been quite so lucky, with mechanical problems in Mexico and Argentina costing him good points. How concerning is that and what is being done to ensure that the reliability is improved?
The electrical failure - rather than mechanical problem - Petter had in Argentina was totally a one-off. It was a component we have used for three to four years with no problem. It was obviously very unfortunate and very frustrating, particularly for Petter and the whole team. But we have got a fix for the next event and we are confident that problem won't occur again.
The previous problem in Mexico, again it was unfortunate. There was no particular reason why it should have happened on Petter's car and not on Chris' car. Petter has been unlucky