Chris Atkinson and Petter Solberg were told of Subaru’s decision to pull out of the World Rally Championship on Monday, according to

A Subaru representative flew from the factory in Japan to the south of France to tell the drivers face to face.

“I sort of knew something was going on, but I didn’t expect this,” Atkinson said. “Now we have to figure out where to go from here. Nothing’s certain. To be honest it’s all still a bit of a shock. Obviously it’s disappointing - we put in four years at Subaru trying our best at every race. Now all I know is there’s nothing more planned.”

Atkinson doesn’t expect to be competing on Rally Ireland - the 2009 season opener - but says he hasn’t discussed it with anyone at the team’s UK headquarters.

“The team haven’t spoken to me. Not a word. I guess that’s just the way it is,” Atkinson added.

Solberg, meanwhile, stated on his official website: “I need to evaluate the situation before I make any public statement. I understand that media and the public would like to have answers to all their questions right now, but I ask you all to be patient and wait until tomorrow,” he said.

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