Subaru signs Solberg and Martin

The Subaru World Rally Team will field a three-car attack on the whole of next year's World Rally Championship, following its signing of young guns Petter Solberg and Markko Martin

Subaru signs Solberg and Martin

The pair will join forces with current world championship contender Richard Burns as the Japanese marque begins a new five-year commitment to both Prodrive and world rallying.

Norwegian Solberg has been driving a Ford Focus WRC on world series events this year to great effect, with a fourth, fifth and sixth place and fastest stage times in Portugal and New Zealand.

"The last year has been a very useful learning process for me," said the 25-year-old. "I've had a good time at Ford and I'm grateful for their assistance, but I think I'm ready now to take on a more significant role in a team."

Martin has also impressed this year in his privateer Corolla WRC. The Estonian has competed in 15 world rally events since his debut in 1997, finishing in the top ten on eight of them.

"I'm delighted to have the opportunity to develop my career with the help of Subaru," said Martin.

The team will also retain current driver and four-times world champion Juha Kankkunen, whose exact role next year is still unclear. The Finn is likely to run a limited programme of gravel rallies, meaning Prodrive will have the logistical challenge of running a four-car squad on certain events.

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