Pirelli Urges WRC Teams to Stay

With Subaru pulling out of the World Rally Championship for 2009 and Suzuki also deciding to cease all motorsport activities in the series due to financial reasons, WRC's main tire supplier Pirelli insisted the latest cost cutting measures introduced by the FIA last week – aimed to be implemented in 2010 – will reduce costs dramatically inside the sport.

“A WRC programme is going to cost a tenth of what it would cost a manufacturer to go to Formula One. There's no doubting the value of a WRC programme in these cost-conscious times. And, with the new global promoter deal coming, this is just the right time to get into WRC,” insisted Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery.

The Frenchman urged all existing teams inside the WRC not to take immediate actions based on the global economic crisis and look for the future.

“I'm not just trying to talk this thing up, there's no doubt the loss of Subaru is sad for the sport, but we have to look ahead. There are enough doom and gloom merchants around who will be ready to stick the knife into WRC, but they don't see the sport from the inside like we do.”

“We have to be pragmatic about next season and use it to build the platform to launch the sport into 2010. Believe me, the WRC is going in the right direction with the right manufacturers involved and the right people behind it,” added Hembert.

Prodrive's David Richards – whose team has been handling all Subaru operations in the WRC for the past two decades – revealed earlier today that he does expect the Japanese manufacturer to return to the series in 2010, once the new racing platform (S2000 based) will be adopted.
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