From Ford Press [ 26/09/2002 ].
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Following intense speculation regarding the future of Colin McRae, Ford Motor Company has moved to end the uncertainty and has regretfully elected not to renew the Scot's contract with Ford Rallye Sport when it expires at the end of the 2002 FIA World Rally Championship season.
"We hope that in advising Colin of this decision, it will enable him to plan for the 2003 championship season and will alleviate the undue pressure that has been disruptive, not only for Colin and his co-driver, Nicky Grist, but for the team as a whole," said Ford's European Director of Motorsport, Martin Whitaker. "Colin will continue for the remaining three rounds of this year's championship with Ford Rallye Sport and we look forward to a strong finish to the year."
Whitaker confirmed that Ford Rallye Sport was committed to the FIA World Championship for the long term. "We will concentrate on our chosen strategy of building for the future of the championship with a line up focused on our promising younger generation of drivers, whilst continuing to develop the next generation of Focus world rally cars. Further announcements regarding the coming seasons will be made later in the year.
"On behalf of all of us at Ford Motor Company I would like to publicly thank Colin and Nicky for their efforts during the past four years with the Ford team. They have won nine world rallies in that period and helped establish Ford and the Focus at the very forefront of world motorsport. I wish them both well in the future," added Whitaker.