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In a major blow to the Australian Rally Championship, Britek Rallye Sport, along with naming rights sponsor, Pirtek Fluid Systems, has announced the withdrawal of the Pirtek Rally Team from the 2008 championship.

Managing Director of Britek Rallye Sport, Jason Bright, said the decision was only taken after an exhaustive evaluation of the programme and in particular the budget required to compete at the highest level in Australia.

Pirtek Fluid Systems undertook an extensive review of their sports sponsorships and marketing mix last year and subsequently informed Britek Rallye Sport that 2008 would be its final year of sponsorship for the rally programme.

"It was a very difficult decision to make, but with sponsorship uncertainty for the future going beyond 2008, it ultimately left us with no alternative" said Jason Bright.

"In the current climate, attracting another sponsor with the same financial input was going to be very difficult. The competitor in me wanted to continue with the rally team, but the business could not take the risk.

"Pirtek has been an excellent sponsor and a real supporter of the team. Their decision to inform us 12 months ahead of the expiry of the sponsorship agreement is clear evidence of this.

"I also want to thank all our other sponsors, supporters and staff since we took on this project.

"Michael Guest and Darren Windus have been released from their contracts and I wish them the very best for the future.

"Rallying in Australia is very exciting but also extremely expensive. I feel that cost containment measures such as tyres, fuel and a number of other areas seriously need to be looked at."

The two Ford Fiesta Super 2000 cars are currently up for sale and interest has been extremely high. The Super 2000 Fiesta which has been totally designed and developed in-house at Britek is a very competitive package.

"The decision not to run our own team in the ARC does not mean the end of the Fiesta," said Bright.

"As was shown in the last event in Melbourne in November, where Michael Guest pushed Simon Evans (Toyota) all the way on Sunday, the Fiesta has become a very competitive package.

"We are working very closely with customers to supply the cars and the relative equipment and technical back-up to ensure they are successful."

Britek will continue to campaign in the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series with Jason Bright driving the #25 Fujitsu Racing Ford and Marcus Marshall aboard the #26 IRWIN Racing Falcon.
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