Burns to return to Subaru in 2004

Richard Burns will rejoin the Subaru WRC team next season, having signed a two-year deal to drive for the squad in place of the retiring Tommi Makinen

Burns to return to Subaru in 2004

The Briton, who won the 2001 championship with the team, has driven for Peugeot for the past two seasons. He currently leads the championship, but has so far failed to win an rally in his time with the French squad.

"Subaru is the team I've had the most success with," said Burns, "and I'm really looking forward to being part of it again. For the time being though I'm putting thoughts of next year to the back of my mind. My focus is the current season, there's still a long way to go, and I'll continue to push 100 percent for the 2003 title."

Burns will line up alongside Petter Solberg at Subaru, a combination that team principal David Lapworth believes is the strongest in the championship. "I'm very excited about having Richard back on board at Subaru," he said. "He's enjoyed a great deal of success, not to mention the 2001 world title with us, and with four seasons with the Impreza under his belt, he's sure to adapt quickly to the latest car.

"Richard and Petter are two of the most exciting drivers out there, and with both of them driving for Subaru I believe our line-up for 2004 is second to none."

The new deal will mark Burns' third spell driving for Subaru. He first drove for the team on the British championship in 1993, before progressing up to the Asia Pacific series and selected WRC events in 1994 and 1995. Burns switched to Mitsubishi in 1996, but returned to Subaru in 1999. Over the next three years he took eight WRC victories, culminating in the 2001 title. Burns then signed with Peugeot for the following season, which led to a lengthy contract dispute between the French manufacturer and Subaru.

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