Ford have quashed rumours that they will not be competing in next year’s Australian Rally Championship, despite admitting that they are in a less than ideal financial situation.

Pirtek Rally Team commercial manager, Ben Beazley, said that the team would be entering next year’s ARC, with plans to again run two cars for Michael Guest and Darren Windus, supported by Pirtek.

“We’ll be there next year”, Beazley told RallySport Magazine today. “For sure it isn’t easy getting the money required, particularly when Ford are cutting back on their motorsport program, but we’ll be there.

“Given the way we finished the season with a podium at the Rally of Melbourne, we’re confident of challenging for the championship in 2008,” he added.

Financial problems aside, the Pirtek Team should be brimming with confidence after Guest set the pace on stages at the Rally of Melbourne, and comfortably outpaced the Super 2000 Toyota Corolla of Neal Bates.

Beazley added that although it was unlikely that a control tyre would be introduced for the 2008 championship, he felt that it was inevitable that it would happen in 2009.

Asked if that would suit the Ford team, he maintained an open mind.

“I don’t think we’d be too concerned one way or the other, but it would probably be a disadvantage competition-wise,” he said.

“Whatever the control is, it won’t be the latest and greatest available as it will also need to be a tyre that will last well, offer good performance, and be affordable to all competitors. That would mean it would be a step down on what we currently run.”

Regardless of what tyres are used in 2008, it’s a satisfying thought, heading in to Christmas, knowing that the sweet-sounding Fiestas will again be gracing the stages of the Australian Rally Championship.

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