R.E.D Motorsport, which has prepared and ran rally cars for three former World Champions - in Ari Vatanen, Didier Auriol and Colin McRae - has announced it's 'outline plans' for 2004.

Team principal Neil Gatt, speaking at the launch of the R.E.D World Rally Team, announced: "My objective for 2004 is to be competitive in at least two categories of the FIA World Rally Championship by fielding very strong driver/car packages to challenge for honours.

"R.E.D has proven it's capability in 2003 with both the Renault Clio S1600 and the Subaru Impreza Group N cars by achieving class wins in both the 2003 PBRC and 2003 WRC with Mark Higgins at the wheel. Indeed the success with the Subaru Group N car has earned R.E.D the status of being a Prodrive nominated 'Satellite Team' for the 2004 Production Car World Rally Championship."

"Our plans for 2004 are very exciting indeed and represent a years work in developing meaningful collaboration with manufacturers," added Gatt.

The Production Car World Rally Championship 2004 [PCWRC] is set to dramatically improve its status as a part of the WRC, with some big names joining the fray for next year.

In fact, the names don't come much bigger than McRae in the rallying world and it's Alister McRae who will drive one of the R.E.D World Rally Team Prodrive built Impreza's in next year's PWRC. "I am delighted to have agreed terms with Alister who quite simply provides a superb opportunity to mount a formidable challenge for the 2004 PCWRC," continued Gatt.

The R.E.D World Rally Team has plans to challenge for points in the World Rally Championship as well with what is likely to be a full factory specification World Rally Car.

"We are in the middle of detailed discussions with two drivers, their sponsors and the factory team at the moment. We hope to be able to offer the most competitive World Rally Car available to selected non-works drivers for 2004," said Gatt.

As far as the Junior World Rally Championship is concerned the team's plans are less clear.

"I have two latest specification S1600 Clio's available for the JWRC, but at the moment I have not decided upon the best way forward for next year," commented Gatt, "Running a private JWRC S1600 Team without support from the manufacturer is not easy. Renault Sport in Paris has been very supportive of our activity this year, but Renault UK have shown zero interest in getting involved. I will reserve judgement on the future of our Renault project. However, I do have another opportunity with a new manufacturer which is in it's infancy at the moment but, if it happens will meet my criteria for fielding competitive driver/car packages in the JWRC, but Monte Carlo [the opening round of the season] is not far away."

 

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