No WRC for McRae in 2004

British rally hero Colin McRae has decided not to contest the 2004 World Rally Championship after losing his Citroen drive and failing to land a seat elsewhere

No WRC for McRae in 2004

McRae, the 1995 world champion, ran out of works options for next year, and has decided against driving a semi-works car for which he would have to raise the necessary finance.

"There are numerous reasons for not competing in the 2004 world championship and one of the main things is the change in the specific regulation that says each team can only have two registered cars," said McRae. "It didn't help that a definite decision wasn't made early enough in the year to give anyone a chance of securing a drive. Because of that, the only option left was to find the funds to pay for a drive and, given the short timescale, it's just almost impossible to pull that kind of money together.

"At the time Citroen made its decision, Carlos [Sainz] was in a stronger position in the championship than me, and still is. It also has very strong links with the Spanish market so both of these factors obviously contributed. Had the driver regulations not changed, Citroen had always stated they would keep all three of us; now they can't.

"All this, coupled with the fact that it's not been my best year in the sport, have meant I've not really enjoyed it. And I've always said that when I don't enjoy it, I would seriously consider stepping back. The results haven't been there and these two things go together; if you're enjoying it, you're competitive. I'm not as competitive as I want to be and this is another reason for pulling out.

"I'm not disappointed, and in fact very positive about the future. I'm really looking forward to getting into other forms of motorsport; it's something I've always said I wanted to do. Everyone knows there are talks about me competing on the [Paris-] Dakar; again, that's an event I've always thought about doing. There's potential for a deal there, and also lots of others that would take me into different forms of motorsport.

"2004 has the makings of a very interesting year, and hopefully I'll be in a position to make an announcement about certain things very soon."

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