Al-Attiyah chasing M-Sport deal to run three cars in the WRC

Nasser Al-Attiyah has confirmed he is chasing a deal to run a three-car Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team next season

Al-Attiyah chasing M-Sport deal to run three cars in the WRC

The Qatari driver, speaking to WRC Live's Colin Clark ahead of the Cyprus Rally, confirmed he was hoping to conclude negotiations with M-Sport managing director Malcolm Wilson over the weekend.

Ford confirmed it would be withdrawing its title sponsorship from the Ford World Rally Team at the end of this season, leaving a budget shortfall for the Cumbrian-based outfit in 2013.

A Qatar deal, led by Al-Attiyah, has been talked about since Ford's decision last month.

Al-Attiyah said: "We will be discussing next year with Malcolm [Wilson]. It's very important to keep [M-Sport] in the championship and we are hoping to find a good solution."

Asked whether it would be a two-car team with Al-Attiyah driving one of the factory-specification Fiesta RS WRCs, he replied: "A three-car M-Sport team, if the deal comes off, is our target."

Al-Attiyah would compete on seven WRC rounds in a Fiesta, with Petter Solberg reckoned most likely to lead the team.

Wilson declined to comment on the precise nature of his trip to Paphos, saying: "Yes, I am going, but I'm out there to support our M-Sport engineers who are helping Nasser to try and win the Middle East title."

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