Guy Wilks has been forced to evaluate his options for the 2009 season after seeing his chance to join Subaru's World Rally Championship team come to a premature end.

Wilks, currently facing an anxious wait to find out if he will be confirmed as the 2008 British Rally Champion, had launched the Wilks 500 Club in an effort to secure the funding needed to take up a drive in an Impreza WRC2008 in selected events in 2009, but Subaru's announcement that it is to quit the sport has now left the Briton without a drive.

Indeed, such was the shock nature of the announcement that it came only a matter of hours before Wilks had planned to put pen to paper on a contract with Prodrive to cement the deal.

"I'm absolutely stunned," Wilks admitted. "We have been working so hard to earn this opportunity and thanks to the generosity of rally fans who backed the Wilks 500 Club, and a major private investor, we were so close to making it happen.

"The money was in place. The final amendments to the contract had been agreed and we were due to sign this week and hold a media lunch on Friday."

Wilks had planned to run a minimum of eight events in a third factory car alongside Petter Solberg and Chris Atkinson, but said he would now be forced to move forwards and look at other options.

"It's so sad to see Subaru quit the WRC," he said. "They were the iconic team with millions of fans around the world. The WRC is part of Subaru's DNA.

"It would have been a privilege to be the first Brit since Colin and Richard to drive for Subaru and I was really look forward to working with David Richards.

"But this is now yesterday's news. We can't change it. We have to move on and work hard for tomorrow."

Members of the Wilks 500 Club are due to be contacted in the next ten days to be informed of what Subaru's withdrawal will mean for them.