Soon to be out of work, SEAT's Toni Gardemeister has begun to cast around for a drive next year.

The Finn, who has shone on occasion with the troubled Cordoba WRC alongside Didier Auriol this season, faces redundancy when SEAT pulls the plug on its world championship programme after the Rally of Great Britain. Determined not to be consigned to a testing role, however, Gardemeister has initiated talks with several prospective employers.

Prime among these is Ford boss Malcolm Wilson, who is keen to land an experienced youngster to act as back-up to Carlos Sainz and Colin McRae in 2001. Petter Solberg had been groomed for the role, and showed well on sporadic outings with the Blue Oval this year, before defecting to Subaru prior to the Corsica Rally.

Wilson has admitted to talking with Gardemeister, but admits that the Finn probably would not receive as full a programme as he has had with SEAT in 2000.