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Old 12-16-2008, 11:25 AM   #1
Leonardo
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Default Subaru to withdraw from World Rally Championship

Subaru to withdraw from World Rally Championship

16 December 2008

Subaru has announced its decision to withdraw from the 2009 World Rally Championship

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.

Prodrive chairman, David Richards, said: “Subaru’s departure from the World Rally Championship is a great loss as it is one of the sport’s icons. The Subaru World Rally Team has created true champions such as Colin McRae and Richard Burns and its absence will be felt by many the world over. Although this decision closes a significant chapter in Prodrive’s history, our focus now turns to the future.”

For many, Prodrive and Subaru are synonymous, given the long-standing and close association between the two companies. However, while the Subaru World Rally Team historically represented a significant part of Prodrive’s business, today it accounts for no more than 20 per cent of the company’s turnover.

Prodrive will look to redeploy as many of the rally team as possible in other areas of its business operations, which have grown to span advanced engineering and manufacturing for the automotive, defence, marine and aerospace industries, in addition to other motorsport programmes.

Despite the current economic downturn, Prodrive’s automotive engineering business remains buoyant as it works with vehicle manufacturers to accelerate the development of next generation fuel-efficient vehicles and alternative fuel technologies.

Together with Subaru, Prodrive’s commitment to its customer rally teams will also continue unabated for 2009 and beyond. Over the past 15 years, Prodrive has sold close to 500 rally cars to more than 400 private competitors and independent rally teams in 47 countries. During this time, Prodrive’s customers have won five consecutive Production World Rally Championships and countless international rallies. In 2008, Prodrive-supported customer teams have claimed eight rally championship titles around the world.

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.

http://www.swrt.com/news/latest_news.html?id=1590
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:32 AM   #2
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Actually, this really doesn't come as too much of a surprise to me. Subaru hasn't been doing that well the past couple of years, and running a program like this couldn't have been cheap. I'm sure the heads at Subaru were looking to see if their ROI was worth it or not, and finally came to this decision.

I'm just curious now if either of their drivers will be picked up by one of the other teams.
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:37 AM   #3
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Wow! Hopefully they will jump back into the rally racing scene in a few years.
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:38 AM   #4
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yeah i hope they get back into it once the economy gets better.
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:39 AM   #5
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dang that blows
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:40 AM   #6
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wow that sucks
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:42 AM   #7
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Does this possibly affect the development of new Sti's? I mean didn't they create the new hatch/wagon style to be more competetive in WRC and now they are pulling out?
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:47 AM   #8
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Is this permanent or just an announcement for 2009?
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:48 AM   #9
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Is this permanent or just an announcement for 2009?
Was wondering the same thing... hopefully just this year!
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:53 AM   #10
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This sucks.
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:55 AM   #11
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sux big time
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:56 AM   #12
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I'm contemplating autobiographical termination because of the sadness I feel.
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:01 PM   #13
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This sucks.
+12345
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:02 PM   #14
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This upsets me

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Old 12-16-2008, 12:02 PM   #15
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That is really sad. I see the Subaru brand making many changes to "elevate" the brand above boy racer dream car. It seems they have done everything possible to move away from the car many of us want to drive/the reason we bought a Subaru in the first place. When the Sti first came to the US in 2004 we were wondering what would follow, the spec C, the s202, or s204. This obviously never happened and instead Subaru has been softening the Sti since it arrived, culminating in the pig that is the 08 Sti. I see Subaru turning into Toyota and it is very sad. This rant may be a little off topic but I just hope that the with drawl from WRC was only financially motivated and Subaru will be returning soon.
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:03 PM   #16
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If this permanent it could get worst for subaru ?
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:04 PM   #17
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wow...first honda is out in F1 and now this....this really sucks!
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xsblack View Post
That is really sad. I see the Subaru brand making many changes to "elevate" the brand above boy racer dream car. It seems they have done everything possible to move away from the car many of us want to drive/the reason we bought a Subaru in the first place. When the Sti first came to the US in 2004 we were wondering what would follow, the spec C, the s202, or s204. This obviously never happened and instead Subaru has been softening the Sti since it arrived, culminating in the pig that is the 08 Sti. I see Subaru turning into Toyota and it is very sad. This rant may be a little off topic but I just hope that the with drawl from WRC was only financially motivated and Subaru will be returning soon.
You have to appeal to the MASSES to make money. Subaru likely couldn't give less of a damn what you want or think, they have shareholders to please.
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:07 PM   #19
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Well The only reason I even drive a subaru is because of the WRC. There is no point for them to continue development of the WRX and STi since they no longer need it to be built for homologation. Also they lost my purchase of an 08-09 sti next year when this wrx is paid off. I see the end of the good imports. What happened to the Big 3 after they all quit building the factory race cars like the superbird, boss mustang, and the camaro in drag racing and trans am racing?

Last edited by kahunaking; 12-16-2008 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:07 PM   #20
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sucks!!! hate this news!!!
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:08 PM   #21
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now they can officially name all the WRX to GT...
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:10 PM   #22
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Well I wonder what WRC was expecting when they announced they were going to SPEC cars... I mean, the diversity of the vehicles was what made it so cool. Tell Subaru, sorry you cant run the impreza anymore... Oh yea, and your flat 4's gotta go too... They might as well have just kicked subaru out.
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:16 PM   #23
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defiitely sad news, but I understand why they've had to do it. Hopefully when the economy turns around, they can join back in.
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:16 PM   #24
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ouch, hate to see this but subaru has really been lagging behind in the wrc in the last couple of years. Hope the economy gets good enough for them to get back into the rally
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:17 PM   #25
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Rally is why most of us got into Imprezas, Leggys and Fozzys. The steady decline in coverage and winnings has really hurt me on a personal level. I have hated having to read about or download clips of high powered sedans and hatches roaring through the woods. Subaru is Rally to me and always will be, I hope once the world market bounces back we will see subaru not only return to its "roots" but return with style, with a podium. This Michael Jordon way of leaving is just bad medicine I mean come on, finish on top, go out with a bang at least FHI. Subaru should have at least gave it one more year and a shot at #1, but that seems impossible with the new hot hatch sti (as much as it has grown on me...)

This makes me want to create some long live rally stickers or somethang
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