CAMS notes with regret the announcement earlier this week by Britek Rallye Sport, along with naming rights sponsor, Pirtek Fluid Systems, that the Ford backed Pirtek Rally Team would not be contesting the 2008 Australian Rally Championship.

Chairman of the Australian Rally Commission, Colin Trinder, commented that "we have been working extremely hard with all parties over the past several months to put in place arrangements to help the Pirtek Rally Team meet their commitments to the ARC, Rallycorp and to CAMS."

"It was believed that sufficient progress had been made during intensive negotiations in December to ensure that the team would be able to continue competing and we understand that Pirtek were willing to continue to sponsor the rally team in 2008. However the decision to withdraw was taken by Britek for commercial reasons.  Rallycorp, CAMS and ARCom will now focus on helping the team resolve its commitments to the ARC and the homologation of the Ford Fiesta S2000 cars.

"Whilst it is extremely disappointing that the factory supported Fords will be missing from the ARC line-up in 2008, there remains a strong possibility that these exciting cars will be sold to private competitors and therefore still be competing in the championship.

"The withdrawal of the Pirtek Rally Team underlines how important the process of 'renewal' in rallying is going to be. While motor sport at the very highest levels can be expensive, it is imperative that we address the issues of cost in all areas including fuel, tyres and the arms race in expensive rally technology. These are all interlinked issues that have defied resolution in the past.

"ARCom has agreed on limiting numbers of tyres, removal of confidential tyres and a move to cheaper fuels such as those used for everyday road transport. These are reforms that will be implemented in 2008 with the specific details to be announced shortly as part of a major reform package for the ARC competition. ARCom is confident that these changes will go a long way towards attracting new privateers and manufacturers to the ARC.

"ARCom will also be giving urgent consideration to a number of other substantial reform proposals in the coming weeks with a view to re-energising the ARC in 2008."
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