Citroen reject Colin McRae now looks almost certain to re-join Subaru in 2004, following news yesterday that Ford will continue next year, and thus Markko Martin, will not be available to fill the void left by Richard Burns' absence.

Burns was diagnosed with a brain tumour two weeks ago, news that left the WRC community in shock, and the Englishman, facing an enforced absence.

His misfortune though, left a vacant seat at one of the top teams, and as such speculation centred on who would partner Petter Solberg.

With Martin now tied up with Ford, McRae looks the most likely to get the nod, despite having committed to take part in the Paris to Dakar Rally with Nissan, an event that will finish just five days prior to the start of the Monte Carlo Rally.

The Scot though is by no means 'home and dry' - and he will need to not only convince Subaru he has the motivation to give it 110 per cent, but he may also have to lower his wage demands.

Speaking to British newspaper The Times, the 1995 WRC champion said: "If it was the same offer that Richard had and the same as I discussed with them before, then I would be interested."

Subaru have been in talks with McRae since news of Burns predicament, the only stumbling block being Ford, and potentially signing Martin. Now this has been removed from the equation it should be smooth sailing...

"I think we'll be speaking to [Subaru boss] David [Lapworth] next week," Colin's father Jimmy, told The Guardian, "Colin's prepared to wait. He'll give it his best shot."

Let's hope McRae gets it...

 

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