Team CVR (Clyde Valley Racing) – the organisation behind Cartridge World Carbon Zero Racing – has officially and regrettably announced its withdrawal from the 2009 HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), citing 'circumstances beyond our control'.
The Scottish outfit entered the BTCC this year as the only team in Europe with a zero carbon policy throughout, with its cars running on bio-ethanol fuels and aiming to showcase itself as an independent, environmentally-efficient squad capable of winning races at a very high level of competition.
Though there have been no victories, there have been flashes of genuine promise along the way, most notably a podium for Adam Jones at Thruxton back in April and another for Gordon Shedden on the Scot's home turf at Knockhill last month, where the Team Dynamics refugee also put the yellow SEAT Leon on the front row of the starting grid.
Indeed, there were no fewer than 14 points finishes from 18 starts for Jones, three from six starts for Shedden and a further three for Dan Eaves, who began the campaign with Team CVR only to part company with them following the Croft mid-season meeting due to a lack of results.
Still, those performances were enough to hoist Cartridge World Carbon Zero Racing up to a laudable sixth position in both the teams' and independent teams' title standings – out of respectively 15 and 14 competitors – but with the plug having now been prematurely pulled in the wake of a no-show at Silverstone last weekend, the focus has sadly had to be shifted to 2010.
“Firstly, I would like to apologise to everyone involved within the team, our sponsors, fans, SEAT Sport and the BTCC for our withdrawal from the championship which was unfortunately due to circumstances beyond our control,” revealed team principal Colin Neill. “The support we have received this season has been tremendous for the team, [which has produced] a very credible performance in our first year of the ultra-competitive BTCC.
“The details of our departure from the championship are not overly complex, but some areas will for legal reasons remain confidential. We would like to share some elements of the circumstances surrounding the current situation, as I put forward various solutions to Cartridge World that would have seen us compete until the end of the season providing them with extended exposure, even right down to the wire last Thursday morning.
“Some key members of the team have been part of this project for more than two years, and have been committed to making it happen. The team found itself in a difficult situation as we approached the summer break, with a couple of key sponsors failing to deliver on their financial commitments, hence dropping down to one car last time out at Knockhill.
“I also have to say that the team did a fantastic job at Knockhill; our second place was taken on genuine pace. The whole team were looking forward to Silverstone, where we would have been back to two cars. We made progress with the car set-up and both drivers were quite capable of taking podium finishes at Silverstone, even though the competition would have been tough.
“The ironic thing is Cartridge World were pleased with the exposure generated by our Carbon Zero Race Team, and how well our race programme worked for their brand. During that relationship we also looked after their in-store VIP competition winners on race weekends, which worked tremendously well for their franchise and franchisees alike. I would like to express my thanks to Cartridge World for meeting their contractual obligations, and for their continued support during our race programme.”