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If you're waiting anxiously for Mitsubishi to launch its new WRC car for 2006, you'd better just grab an OxyContin and a bottle of Old Grand Dad and make an evening of it. The company is giving up on the 2006 rally season to get its financial ducks in a row. The company announced today it was suspending participation in the FIA World Rally Championship until at least 2008 so it can "focus management resources" on its three-year revitalization plan. (Mitsu is still participating in the 2006 Paris-Dakar.) Still, the company hasn't won a manufacturers' title since 1998, nor a drivers' title since 1999, so maybe a break will give it a chance to get its shie e together. Press release after the jump.

Press Release:
Mitsubishi Motors to Suspend Participation in the FIA World Rally
Championship Series.

Tokyo, December 14, 2005? Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) has announced that it has decided to suspend participation in the FIA World Rally Championship series from 2006.

With the Mitsubishi Motors Revitalization Plan as a basis, MMC has made a solid start toward revitalizing its business operations. However, to strengthen and build upon this base, MMC realizes that it must focus management resources on the continued promotion of the revitalization plan.

Mitsubishi Motors hopes to return to the WRC Championship series from 2008, after the completion of the 3-year revitalization plan, which covers fiscal 2005 to 2007.

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This decision however does not extend to MMC's efforts in the Dakar Rally (commonly known as Paris-Dakar). Mitsubishi Motors will continue to compete in this event.

— Starting with an overall championship in the Safari Rally in 1974, the Mitsubishi WRC Team has accomplished a spectacular 34 wins in the WRC series. The team won the drivers' title 4 consecutive years from 1996 to 1999, and won the prestigious manufacturers' title in 1998.

Related:
Ford Launches New WRC Focus in Bologna [internal]