New Subaru Impreza Awarded ABU Dhabi ‘Spirit of the Rally’
Team’s debut joy as Solberg takes 2nd in ‘roughest’ Acropolis for years

Tatoi, Athens. 1st June, 2008: Subaru’s decision to launch its new Impreza WRC2008 at this weekend’s Acropolis Rally of Greece – the roughest round in the FIA World Rally Championship – was always going be a calculated risk.

However, after 339.94 competitive kilometres of some of the most formidable terrain seen in a series round for years, Norway’s Petter Solberg steered the team’s newest recruit to an incredible - and well-earned - second place finish in the seventh round of the WRC season.

And the team’s boldness has scooped them the ‘Abu Dhabi Spirit of the Rally’ award, which recognises parties demonstrating the same values that the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, stands for; respect, innovation, integrity and teamwork. It also acknowledges a positive contribution to the WRC by any of the myriad of parties involved in the sport.

One of rally’s most iconic teams, Subaru, expects the new Impreza WRC2008 to catapult them back to the sport’s forefront - which in recent years has been dominated by BP-Ford Abu Dhabi and Citroen World Rally Teams.

And if this week’s events in Athens are anything to go by, Subaru’s return to winning ways will be sooner rather than later.

“It is a great honour to accept this award as recognition of the successful debut of Subaru’s new Impreza World Rally Car, the WRC2008. We have all worked very hard to bring it here to Greece, and especially after today we are very confident that it will mark a new era for the team and Subaru, taking us back to our winning ways” said Ikuo Mori, President and Chief Executive Officer, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.

“It is important for our fans worldwide that the new five-door Impreza is now in the WRC and I would like to express my gratitude to Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority for recognising all our hard work to achieve what we have this weekend.”

Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority officials praised the new Subaru’s instant impact in what has been a rollercoaster of a weekend in Greece: “This rally is known as a car wrecker, so to launch the new Impreza at the Acropolis was potentially very risky,” said Ahmed Hussein, Deputy Director General, ADTA.

“Not only does the new car look fantastic, but it’s proven it has the necessary attributes to compete at the top level. Sport is about competition and rally needs as many teams battling for podiums and victories as possible. It’s great news for everyone in rally that the new Subaru car has had such a distinguished debut - my full congratulations go to the team for their hard work and commitment.”

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