2006 Australian Privateer Champion and Safari Tasmania winner, Dean Herridge, is still unsure of his plans for the 2007 season, despite admitting to having “many balls in the air” as Christmas approaches.

Still contracted to Subaru until the end of December and after a year of running for the factory team in tarmac rallies and in the Australian Rally Championship in a privately-entered Impreza WRX, Herridge has recently been linked to a Mitsubishi drive. However, the West Australian denies he’s close to switching camps.

“Although my plans are very fluid at the moment, I would expect that I’ll be driving a Subaru in 2007,” Herridge told RallySport Magazine today.

“I’ve spoken to Nick Senior and Subaru, and while they are keen for me to stay involved with the brand, they have no firm competition plans,” he said.

However, it is believed that Subaru will return to motorsport in 2008 with the new-shape Impreza WRX, due for release late next year.

While he admits to having spoken to Mitsubishi’s Alan Heaphy in a very unofficial capacity at the end of the ARC season, Herridge says that he has not spoken to the team since, and was unsure if they have made any decisions to even run a second car in 2007.

“I have been very loyal to the Subaru brand over the years, and at this stage that’s certainly where I see my future,” he said.

In an ideal world, he and the Maximum Motorsport team will run their own car in next year’s ARC, with a major naming rights sponsor currently being sought.

“I’d love to do the ARC again because I’m sure we can do a better job than we did in 2006. We got some good results this year, but I think we can improve the car and go even quicker in 2007 – my goal is still to win the Australian Rally Championship.”

Herridge also has some irons in the fire for a Production World Rally Championship (PWRC) program for next year, but admits it is very difficult to secure commercial support for the series.

“To be honest I’m not relying on a PWRC program to get off the ground, but that would still be the ultimate – to compete in the WRC,” he says.

Herridge’s first event in 2007 looks likely to be running as a course car for an ice and snow event in Japan at the end of January, driving a factory Subaru.

“Subaru Japan wanted an international driver to drive the car, which is great. And as you can imagine, coming from WA, I know a fair bit about driving on snow,” he laughs.

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