Subaru hopeful of future return
|By Steven English||Tuesday, December 16th 2008, 13:18 GMT|
Subaru boss Ikuo Mori says he would like the marque to return to the World Rally Championship in the future.
Mori, who is the president of Subaru's parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries, explained that the manufacturer had to be withdrawn from the sport due to the current financial crisis, but expressed his desire for the brand to return in future.
"We have achieved our initial objective to improve the brand recognition and given the unprecedented economic deterioration, it was necessary to review our investments, these are the main reasons (for the withdrawal)," said Mori.
"The possibility of a Subaru car back in the top category of the WRC in the future is not zero, however for this moment there can be no assumption of a comeback. (But) if we can be allowed, we want to continue - especially for the fans.
"Reaching the decision has been an extremely difficult task, not least because of the countless Subaru fans that have supported our cars for so many years. We would like to express our sincere appreciation for our fans' strong and loyal support worldwide."
The revised WRC regulations that will come into force in 2010 with the switch to Super 2000 machinery is expected to dramatically cut teams' budgets and more manufacturers are believed to be considering joining the championship.
Subaru will still be represented in the WRC next season with independent Norwegian team Adapta running two cars. Mads Ostberg has been confirmed as one of the drivers and the team is still looking for a second.
Prodrive could still work with a customer team to field a two-car Subaru entry in the manufacturer teams' class, although no confirmation has been made by the team.