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Subaru: Still the plan to run a third car in 2009.

Subaru's managing director Richard Taylor is 'optimistic' that the squad will still be able to run a third car next season in the World Rally Championship despite the economic downturn.

The Banbury-based outfit had been due to run a third Impreza WRC for Xavier Pons this year, but in the end that never actually happened and it was only in Catalunya and Corsica that 2003 J-WRC champion Brice Tirabassi joined regular drivers' Petter Solberg and Chris Atkinson.

Speaking exclusively to Crash.net Radio recently though, Taylor added that an announcement could be made soon. He also reiterated that Britain's Guy Wilks is one of those in the running for that third seat.

"We are 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," Taylor explained.

"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."

As for speculation that Petter Solberg or Chris Atkinson might not remain in '09, Taylor rubbished such reports.

"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," he said simply.

He also dismissed outright talk of Prodrive and Subaru splitting: "No [there is no truth to that either], none at all," he continued. "We are all working very hard together on getting the performance back to where it should be.

"We are obviously looking to make some further improvements and I think in the last couple of months we have definitely got the direction with the car right.

"The drivers' are feeling more confident with it and we will go into 2009 looking for a big step forward and looking to be much closer and mixing it with Ford and with Citroen."


by Rob Wilkins


TO HEAR THE INTERVIEW IN FULL WITH RICHARD TAYLOR: CLICK HERE


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Richard Taylor (GBR), Subaru WRT Managing Director
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Dafydd Larcombe - Unregistered

November 25, 2008 9:26 AM

I think Petter has for what ever reason had some difficulties over the past few seasons, sure, the car has not been good since 2004/2005. I felt back then that DR was taking his eye off the ball with his alternative commitments, also with DL stepping away from being Cheif technical director, the result I thought was going to be obvious. I would however like to see them run 3 cars though, they just have to start getting things right, including driver selection, Pons was a complete waste of money, and Tiribassi was a questionable choice too. There are better more advanced drivers out there, two of which are Brits in Meeke and Wilks. They need to really turn a corner, and Fast too !!

The Stig - Unregistered

November 24, 2008 11:27 AM

How about Subaru getting their **** together before talking about running a third car. Any up and coming driver with half a brain would keep clear of the under preforming Subaru that is being presented on the WRC stages at present. I think the Japanese boys at Subaru would like to see some return on the 60 million pounds it gives Prodrive to run it cars, change is in the wind.



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