Dominant force of modern touring car racing to leave series
17 April 2009

Vauxhall has announced it will withdraw from the British Touring Car Championship at the end of this year.

The team has been a mainstay of the modern era of touring car racing, but this season is the only manufacturer in the series, after its only other rival, Seat, withdrew at the end of 2008.

VX Racing has won seven of the past eight manufacturer titles, with current champion Fabrizio Giovanardi currently driving alongside Matt Neal and Andrew Jordan.

Vauxhall says its decision is influenced by the absence of other manufacturer-backed teams and financial prudence in the current global economic downturn.

British Touring Car Championship boss Alan Gow said he understood Vauxhall's decision, but insisted that the series is not reliant on manufacturer involvement.

"Over the last six years we have seen direct manufacturer involvement decline within the BTCC, yet at the exact same time we have seen crowd figures, TV audiences and competitor numbers rise," said Gow.

"That's certainly no coincidence and the facts prove that a heavy degree of manufacturer involvement is no longer crucial to either the success or popularity of the championship."

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