Suzuki suspends WRC program

Another one bites the dust. Today was the deadline for manufacturers to announce their intentions to race in the FIA World Rally Championship for 2009, and Suzuki saw fit to let its entry expire after just a single year of competition. The Japanese automaker calls the move a countermeasure to "the contraction of the automotive sales caused by recent global economic turmoil." In other words, fewer car sales mean less excess money for racing. Worse, Suzuki says it expects things to stay bad for the foreseeable future, so riding out the storm wasn't a possibility.

Suzuki was just beginning to see some success in WRC, finishing in the top five for the last two races of the season with its SX4 WRC racer. The manufacturer's Swift Cup will remain active in 2009. This move follows rival automaker Honda's announcement that it would be suspending Formula 1 and AMA Roadracing competition, also a result of the global economic downturn. Thanks for the tip, everyone!

[Source: World Rally Championship]

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