Motorbase Performance will miss the first half of the British Touring Car Championship after it was confirmed by team principal David Bartrum, citing a breakdown in sponsorship agreements.

In a team statement Bartrum said: "It is with regret that I have to announce that Motorbase will not be competing in the BTCC for the first half of this season. I and the rest of the team are obviously very disappointed."

The team insist it will continue to fight on in the search for new sponsors and are targeting a return to the BTCC grid at Snetterton.

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The team has suspended its plan to run its two-car team with Mat Jackson, who has been with the team for the past five seasons, and James Cole who is a recent addition to the Kent-based outfit.

Jackson finished fourth in the drivers' standings last season, notching up two victories in the process along with five other podium finishes.

The team has also been developing a new Ford EcoBoost engine for the 2015 season and will now hunt sustainable backing to fund its BTCC season.

"The EcoBoost engine has shown great promise during testing and we have a great driver line up in place with Mat Jackson back for his sixth season with us joined by James Cole, who is a really good addition to the team," the team statement continued. "We genuinely believe that we have a strong package that could challenge for the title this season; but this is not a championship that can be committed to half-hearted and unfortunately our hand has been forced.

Bartrum explains the team has been negotiating with title sponsors since the end of the 2014 season but the plans have fallen through just weeks before the BTCC season opener.

"We have been in lengthy talks with two potential title sponsors since November and all seemed like it was going to plan, however things have conspired against us in recent weeks and due to a change in circumstance with those parties we find ourselves in the position we're in.

"This does not mean the end for Motorbase in the BTCC. Both Mat and James are still on board and we remain committed to the BTCC. We will continue our search for new partners and our aim is to be back on the grid at Snetterton.

"We will of course work with Alan Gow and TOCA to find the best way forward to be back competing for the second half of the season with a two car team. Obviously that will include finding a way to address the TBL (BTCC licensing) issues that our short-term withdrawal raises."

The Dextra Racing team, who run the same Ford Focus ST car in BTCC, will not be effected by Motorbase's temporary withdrawal and continue with its preparations for the 2015 season with driver Alex Martin.

"I'm pleased to announce that Team Parker racing will take over the operation of Alex Martin in the Dextra Racing effort, which will be supported by Motorbase Performance," Bartrum added.

"Our decision to withdraw from the start of this season has had no bearing on this situation. Stuart [Parker] has been involved with the Alex Martin entry since Alex joined us last year.

"At the end of the day we're a business as well as a racing team and this is a purely commercial decision. In the meantime, we'll press on and strive to be back on the grid for the second half of the season."