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Subaru to withdraw from WRC in 2009 :(

December 16th, 2008 1 comment

Sad and tragic news today, that Subaru will be withdrawing from the WRC.

Australian world rally championship driver Chris Atkinson will be forced to look for a new manufacturer in 2009 with Subaru pulling out of the sport because of the global financial crisis.

Japan’s Fuji Heavy Industries, the maker of Subaru cars, made the announcement on Tuesday.

“Our business environment has rapidly deteriorated. In order to protect the Subaru brand we were forced to make this decision,” Fuji Heavy president Ikuo Mori told a press conference.

Mori fought back tears as he announced the decision at a press conference, thanking Subaru fans.

Times are tough and we can  all understand why FHI had to do this, as they stated in the official press release:

This sudden decision was in response to the widespread economic downturn that is affecting the entire automotive industry, and follows Suzuki’s withdrawal announced yesterday.

After 20 years in the sport, during which time the Prodrive-run Subaru World Rally Team has won six World Rally Championship titles, this is not only sad news for Subaru and the team, but also for millions of rallying fans around the world. Thanks to its highly successful World Rally Championship programme, Subaru has developed into one of the world’s most widely recognised and evocative automotive brands.

Thanks for the memories and putting me on the path to buying a STi as my first “new car”. Whilst the new Suuby’s aren’t quite my type the WRC models are timeless. But it seems all is not lost:

Looking ahead, 2010 will see the introduction of new World Rally Championship technical regulations, which provide Prodrive with an opportunity to prepare for re-entering the championship with a new team and build on its 24 years of World Rally Championship experience and success.

Cant wait till then, in the meantime I hope they bring out their WRX STi sedans sometime soon as the Lancer is getting a major lead in the looks department in comparison 🙁 I’m still enjoying my MY06 Liberty which is up for its 55K service soon.

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