No Subaru deal for McRae

Colin McRae will not drive for Subaru in next year's World Rally Championship following the Banbury team's decision not to offer him a 2004 seat

No Subaru deal for McRae

The decision was taken at a meeting in Monte Carlo this afternoon between Subaru World Rally Team officials and high-ranking members of Subaru Japan. McRae, who was told his services would not be required earlier this evening, was angry and confused about the way the negotiations had broken down.

The 35-year-old Scot, who won his only world title with Subaru in 1995, tested the team's Impreza WRC2003 in Wales last week and believed the deal for his return was all-but confirmed.

McRae was quick to point out that the stumbling block for the deal was not his salary for 2004.

"This deal was not about the money, it was about me being in a team that could have given me one more crack at the World Rally Championship," he said. "Subaru could have had a cracking team with Petter (Solberg) and myself. I've never been more disappointed with anything in my entire time in the championship."

McRae, who was not retained by the Citroen team at the end of this season, will now focus his attentions on a forthcoming attempt at Telefonica Dakar, driving a Nissan.

World rallying's commercial boss David Richards was disappointed not to see McRae back in the championship, saying: "Some sports have iconic figures and Colin is one of them. It was Colin that helped put Subaru on the map. I don't think some people understand the impact of not having him in the car."

Subaru World Rally Team will make an official announcement on Monday about who will partner Solberg at Subaru next season. Finnish driver Mikko Hirvonen is rumoured to be favourite for the seat.

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