Peugeot rally boss Corrado Provera says that the team will not require Harri Rovenpera's services for the 2004 season, because the Finn has a "mental imbalance in his mind".

Peugeot rally boss Corrado Provera says that the team will not require Harri Rovenpera's services for the 2004 season, because the Finn has a "mental imbalance in his mind".


The former Swedish Rally winner this week said he was "confused" by Peugeot's decision to drop him - even though he had an agreement with the French team for all 16 rounds next season. Hyundai's Freddy Loix now looks set to get the drive.


"I don't understand this," said Rovanpera. "We had talks at the end of July and everything was okay - there was no problem. Now this - it looks like I have nothing. There is not very much time to find anything for next season."


Although Rovanpera (and Loix) was confirmed for 2004 earlier this year during a period when the WRC commission's regulations on third drivers were not finalised and Peugeot thought they would need to sign three pilots.


"We have decided not to keep him anymore," said Provera. "He has not performed like we wanted. Since he crashed out of Finland he seems to have had a mental imbalance in his mind."


It is believed that Loix's good showing against Rovanpera on the recent British Rally gave the Belgian the nod over his former team-mate. Either way, this week's development at Peugeot means that the race for the remaining Subaru position, which was vacated by Richard Burns due to illness, has heated up.


"We haven't really started talking about names of who might drive for the team next year," said Subaru team manager Paul Howarth, who added that the team would be looking for a driver who could compete on all rallies, rather than rotating the drive among specialists.


Leading possibilities to replace Burns could be Nissan's Dakar Rally hopeful Colin McRae, Markko Martin (if Ford does not compete next year) - or Rovanpera.

Original article from Car