The championship winning Subaru Allstars team makes its first appearance of the 2001 rally season complete with a new car and new management.

The team will make its season debut on the next round of the WRC in Sweden, which starts from Karlstad on 9 February. With the benefits of an enhanced management structure and an improved car specification, the team is aiming to continue the successful championship winning form it displayed in 2000.

The Allstars operation offers drivers a flexible, factory team service, and can tailor a rallying package to suit an individual's own requirements. The team has enjoyed considerable success and, in 2000, helped secure the FIA Teams' Cup for Toshihiro Arai - who has since gone on to join the Subaru World Rally Team - and supported other customers around the world to achieve no fewer than nine major national titles.

Once again, the main focus for the Allstars will be the FIA Teams' Cup which, following changes by the organisers, will now be made up of six specified events: Sweden, Portugal, Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Australia. The team will run full Teams' Cup programmes for Hamed Al Wahaibi, of the Oman Arab World Rally Team, and the Frenchman Frederic Dor, of the F Dor Rally Team, the latter starting his twelfth consecutive season with the team. Taking other European rallies into account the Allstars expect to support customers on at least 20 events this season.

This year Al Wahaibi and Dor will both be driving the latest customer specification Subaru Impreza World Rally Car, the MY2001. The car bristles with new technology, including Prodrive's fly-by-wire transmission system, and is one of the newest and most competitive rally cars in the world - Richard Burns used the same version of the Impreza to win the Rally of Great Britain just over two months ago.

Following the departure of team manager Paul Howarth to a position with the Subaru World Rally Team, two new management appointments have been made at the Allstars. John Brunskill joins the team as customer support manager, bringing with him more than 20 years motorsport experience, while John Kennard becomes customer events manager, drawing on many years event experience gained as a team co-ordinator and co-driver. Motorsport services manager David Campion retains overall responsibility for the team.

"We have a strong and committed group of people working for our Allstars customers and after the successes last year," Campion said, "and we're keen to build on that excellent foundation for this season. The new car and management that we have in place will enable us to offer drivers a factory team service that I believe would rival many of the manufacturer entries in the World Rally Championship"

Before his first event of the season in Sweden, Allstars driver Hamed Al Wahaibi remained confident that his experience of running with the Allstars outfit in 2000 would be of benefit.

"The 2001 Teams' Cup will be very competitive this year, with all entrants having to compete in the same rallies, so its going to be tough out there," he explained, "But the experience I gained last year in my first year of competing in a World Rally Car, and now with the Subaru Impreza MY2001 and with the Allstars back-up, I think I've a winning combination. I am going all out to win the Teams' Cup this year."