Subaru ends Australian Rally Championship program
By Tom Howard
Friday 20th December, 2019 - 10:55am
Subaru Australia has ended its factory program in the Australian Rally Championship.
The Japanese brand has contested the series over the last four years under the Subaru do Motorsport banner with Molly Taylor at the wheel.
Taylor made history in 2016 by lifting the title, becoming the first female to do so.
The triumph came in the first year of the new Subaru rally program following a hiatus of 10 years from the series.
However, Subaru Australia has chosen to curtail its rally program as it ‘refocusses its performance car marketing in other areas for the foreseeable future’ according to a release from the manufacturer.
Despite the end of the current program, Taylor will be retained as a Subaru brand Ambassador and will participate in a variety of events including customer promotions, drive days, dealer network and staff functions.
Taylor has since paid tribute to all the team behind the program including Les Walkden Rallying and Orange Motorsport, who operated the car during the four years.
“Today I share with you the news that the Subaru do Motorsport program will not continue in 2020. I will however, continue to be a Subaru Ambassador and we still have a lot in store for next year,” read a post on Taylor’s Facebook page.
“The last four years have changed my life more than I could have ever imagined. I can’t put into words just how grateful I am to Subaru, Les Walkden, Craig Brooks, Bill Hayes, Malcolm Read, all the LWR & OME team members and sponsors. There’s too many to name. Thank you.
“Les, you’ve ignited and fostered the careers of so many drivers and I’m humbled to be on that list. The LWR team is made up of the type of people we need more of in the world. Resourceful, genuine and hugely talented quiet achievers.
“Brooksy, your passion for the sport lifts us all. The OME boys labour of love that is Fabio is really something to behold. You all continually push for better and push me to do the same.
“Bill, you’ve helped me more than you know. I won’t take offence to the fact you thought retiring to compete in the Ironman World Championships was somehow less punishing than sitting next to me…
“Malcolm, “peanut”, the other part of the M&M show. You came into our team unknown and instantly became family. We’ve still got a lot more to come so you’re stuck with me. Sorry, not sorry.
“Thank you to our Blue Army and everyone who joined us on this rollercoaster. I’m very lucky to be part of such a great community.
“I’m not sure what’s around the corner just yet, but if the last few years have proved anything, it’s that your dreams really can become a reality. I still have plenty more dreams to pursue and no doubt plenty of crazy adventures to come!
“Here’s to the next chapter and thank you to everyone for your support. It’s been a hell of a ride!”