Subaru's managing director Richard Taylor has conceded that while the team hasn't achieved what it set out to this season, he is still quietly confident that December's Rally GB could see them make another step forward.
The Banbury-based outfit has been in the doldrums now for a good few years and while the new Impreza WRC 2008 was launched back in June, just prior to the Acropolis Rally, it hasn't really allowed either Petter Solberg or Chris Atkinson to get as near to the 'works' Fords and Citroens as had been hoped.
Indeed since then while Petter and Chris have both on occasion posted some quickest stage times, they have only each gotten onto the podium once.
"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]," Taylor told Crash.net Radio
"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."
So how are things looking for the season finale?
"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," he continued.
"We have still got our pre-event test to do because there are a couple of weeks left until the event. It is early days. But we are looking forward to seeing some improvements.
"The stages and the conditions in Wales could be very, very challenging indeed this year. 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."
by Rob Wilkins
TO HEAR THE INTERVIEW IN FULL WITH RICHARD TAYLOR: CLICK HERE