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Australian Rally Championship regular, Will Orders, has withdrawn from this year’s championship, with his car now being converted into a tarmac racing car.

Orders, who was contesting this year’s championship in an Impreza WRX owned and run by Michael Thompson, will now sit out the rest of the championship.

Team owner, Michael Thompson, has stated commercial reasons for the team’s withdrawal from the championship.

“There simply isn’t enough sponsorship money coming in to run the team,”
Thompson told RallySport Magazine. “At the moment I’m funding two-thirds of the team, with sponsorship making up the other third, so it’s just not a viable option.”

Thompson added that with no factory drive on offer for Orders at the end of the year, no prospects of major sponsorship and no prizemoney in the Australian Championship, he saw little reason to continue with the team’s 2007 program.

“It costs around $20,000 per event to run the ARC, and I’ve got to the stage where I’m not willing to foot most of the bill myself,” Thompson said.

“At the start of the year we nearly lured a multi-national major sponsor, which would have enabled us to run a two-car team with Will Orders and Dean Herridge, but unfortunately we couldn’t get that over the line.”

The team’s disappearance from the championship may not be the last high profile departure this year, with Dean Herridge confirming recently that he’s no certainty to contest any further events after this weekend’s Toyota Kluger Rally of South Australia.

Herridge said that his chances of contesting the final two rounds of the championship depend on what result he achieves this coming weekend.

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