Subary Impreza WRC 2008 – Click above for high-res image gallery

After only a one-year hiatus, Subaru is preparing to get back into the rally game next season. And when it does, it won't be back into the World Rally Championship, but rather the rival Intercontinental Rally Challenge.

The Japanese automaker has competed in the IRC since its inception – and even won the very first IRC stage in 2007 – but was not previously registered as an official manufacturer in the series. Rather than field its own works team, however, Subaru will supply cars to privateers, but will be eligible to score points in the manufacturers' standings for 2010.

With the addition of Subaru, that makes eight automakers signed up to compete in the series next year, along with Fiat/Abarth, Honda, Mitsubishi, Peugeot, Proton, Skoda and Volkswagen. Follow the jump for the full press release.

[Source: Subaru] PRESS RELEASE:

FHI registered for the 2010 series of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC)

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. has announced that it will register as a manufacturer for the 2010 series of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC).

The IRC is a series of international rally challenges that began in 2007, and consists of existing rally events that are held across four continents. With well known races nominated for the 2009 season, including the Rally Monte-Carlo and the Safari Rally that played host to the WRC, the IRC is growing in size with every new year. The Group N class, where the Impreza WRX STI belongs, and the S2000 are the main types of vehicles used to race in the event.

The series is organised by Eurosport - Europe's largest TV channel - and all teams that race in a vehicle produced by an officially registered manufacturer are featured in extensive coverage broadcast by Eurosport. Manufacturer's points are allocated with the results of every race and announced on official IRC records.

By registering as a manufacturer with the IRC, Fuji Heavy Industries will be able to provide various types of media, including race footage and results, to Subaru motorsport customers around the world.

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