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Offline mondi

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Two Japanese automakers have pulled out of WRC racing.

Both Subaru and Suzuki have announced they will not be fielding race teams for the 2009 FIA World Rally Championship season.

For Suzuki, the move into WRC was short-lived. It first entered the World Rally Championship just this year with two SX4's and finished fifth in the manufacturers standings. Suzuki cited the global economic turmoil and the precipitous decline in auto sales as the reason they are pulling out of WRC racing.

But Subaru is a major player in WRC racing. It ranked third in the manufacturers standing for 2008 and has won three titles as a brand and three driver's championships as well. Subaru had participated in WRC, along with its UK partner Prodrive, a motorsports and engineering group, for 19 years. So it is daunting to see them pulling out of rally car racing like this.

What's next? Ferrari decides it's too expensive to race in Formula One?

Offline flamestone

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Considering Atko's and Solberg's committment to Subaru (despite Subaru not being up to speed for a long time now), they must be devastated.

More complete stories direct from wrc.com:

Subaru pulls out of the WRC

Subaru doesn’t rule out WRC return

Atkinson and Solberg consider their options

Offline waz356

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Sad news for the WRC. I wonder if Atkinson can buy his way into another team?

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