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Friday, June 14, 2024

FIA president reveals Subaru WRC comeback talks

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The three-time constructors’ champion turned synonymous with the WRC within the Nineties and 2000s profitable drivers’ titles with Colin McRae (1995), Richard Burns (2001) and Petter Solberg (2003).

Subaru, nevertheless, exited the WRC on the finish of 2008 as a result of international monetary disaster.

The model has nevertheless remained concerned in rallying by means of the Subaru Motorsports USA programme, which competes within the American Rally Affiliation. The workforce has not too long ago developed a brand new WRX rally automobile.

Talking in a media roundtable at this weekend’s Acropolis Rally, Ben Sulayem revealed that optimistic early discussions to entice the model again to rallying’s high tier are underway.

The talks have been helped alongside by Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda, a passionate supporter of the WRC, who has been actively attempting to draw new marques to the sequence. Toyota already owns a stake within the Subaru model.

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“It’s not a secret I had assembly with Mr Akio Toyoda, and I ask him what we are able to do to draw producers to the WRC and I listened to somebody who’s passionate – and he talked about Subaru,” stated Ben Sulayem.

“They personal a proportion of Subaru and they’ll assist an initiative of Subaru coming into. And I really feel somebody like him, when he speaks, he speaks with confidence.

“I hope that a few of that can come [to fruition]. I really feel extra producers are good.”

Chris Atkinson and Stéphane Prévot, Subaru World Rally Crew, Subaru Impreza WRC

Picture by: Subaru World Rally Crew

The WRC is at the moment actively looking for new marques to hitch the championship, with the FIA stating that 4 can be a perfect goal for the longer term.

At present Toyota and Hyundai are the one totally producer backed entries within the championship, with Ford represented in a semi-works guise by means of long-time companion M-Sport.

Ought to these early discussions with Subaru develop, it could appear that the WRC’s anticipated regulation change in 2027 would supply the very best window to permit Subaru to re-join the WRC.

One hurdle for Subaru to beat is the engine because the model doesn’t have an influence unit at its disposal that meets WRC rules. Nonetheless, Ben Sulayem has prompt Toyota may help on this division.

“I see Positive indicators from the chairman of Toyota in convincing Subaru to return again and offering the engine, the place Subaru’s difficulty is with the engine,” Ben Sulayem added.

“It’s not with the automobile, it’s with the engine they’ve. And I can see some indicators of optimism there, actually.”



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