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Atkinson: Subaru announcement was unexpected.

Chris Atkinson admits he didn't expect the news that Subaru is to withdraw from the World Rally Championship, although he senses 'something was going on'.

The Australian has been with the team since 2005, forming a long-standing partnership with 2003 title winner Petter Solberg in recent years.

Although he has yet to secure a maiden victory in the series, Atkinson finished the 2008 campaign ahead of Solberg in the standings but now finds himself hunting for a drive for the new season after the shock announcement was made that Subaru is quitting the sport.

"I sort of knew something was going on, but I didn't expect this," he told the official WRC website. "Now we have to figure out where to go from here. Nothing's certain.

"To be honest it's all still a bit of a shock. Obviously it's disappointing - we put in four years at Subaru trying our best at every race. Now all I know is there's nothing more planned."

Team-mate Solberg has so far refused to comment on the situation directly, stating that he wanted to evaluate the situation before issuing a public statement.

However, the Norwegian has since posted on his own personal website that he is 'working flat out with Prodrive and Japan to figure out the future'.


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