BTCC series director Alan Gow has admitted that he can understand Vauxhall's decision to quit the championship at the end of the season, even if the announcement came out of the blue for many.

Having established itself as one of the most successful BTCC entrants ever, Vauxhall - and, latterly, the VX Racing brand - cited the growing economic squeeze and the lack of factory opposition as the two main reasons for its decision to bow out before the 2010 campaign, but vowed to leave on a high by steering one of its current three-strong line-up to an eighth series title.

Gow, meanwhile, admitted that he would be sorry to see the stalwart go, but accepted that the present global financial situation made continuing to spend money on motorsport an unwise decision.

"Given the (widely reported) extremely difficult financial position in which GM finds itself, it's inevitable that the company must make some drastic cutbacks in nearly all areas of its operations - and motorsport is certainly not immune, as we have witnessed in all major forms of our sport over the last twelve months," he wrote in an official response to Vauxhall's bombshell.

"These are extraordinary times the world is going through, and I'm sure everyone appreciates that some decisions, such as Vauxhall's, are certainly not a reflection of its desire... it's a direct result of the current market and financial climate.

"So, whilst it's obviously very regrettable to see Vauxhall withdrawing from the BTCC next year, it's also perfectly understandable. I know that Vauxhall made this decision with a very heavy heart - and I would bet good money on the fact that, in time, we will see them back again in the BTCC.

"I certainly thank Vauxhall for their exceptional participation in the BTCC over so many years and wish them every success, particularly through these difficult times."

Attempting to cast a more optimistic eye over his domain, Gow pointed out that the BTCC did not rely exclusively on the manufacturers entering 'works' teams, and hoped that the current blend of privateers would continue to entertain.

"It is important to remember that, 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 rise, TV audiences rise, TV airtime rise, competitor numbers rise and the championship being as closely fought as ever," he continued, "That's certainly no coincidence and the facts prove, over these last few years, that a heavy degree of manufacturer involvement is no longer crucial to either the success or popularity of the championship.

"This championship is built on over 50 years of great racing, with fantastic drivers and teams. The BTCC continues to evolve - by making it more accessible for teams, drivers and sponsors to enter whilst being less reliant on substantial manufacturer support - but, at the same time, clearly still delivering exactly what the audiences want. The BTCC always provides great racing, great crowds, great TV and great entertainment... it's what it does best and what it will continue to do.

"So let's get on with the racing - we have a fabulous championship under way with a host of great drivers, great cars, great racing and fantastic ITV coverage. The world may have its problems, but the BTCC provides our millions of fans and viewers with one of the very best reasons to forget about such things and enjoy themselves."

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