Michel Nykjaer is set to miss the remainder of the World Touring Car Championship season after the announcement that he is to be replaced by NIKA Racing.
The Dane sits in a share of the Yokohama Drivers Trophy lead and is third overall in the standings on the back of a season that has seen him win three times at the wheel of his Chevrolet Cruze.
However Nykjaer will now be replaced for the remaining rounds this year, with the team citing 'commercial reasons' for the decision.
"Of course it is always sad when such a situation arises, but we have already achieved more than most thought possible this season, which always was meant to be purely a learning year,” team manager Nicklas Karlsson said. “As a competitive person, I'd have preferred to have been able to complete the season with Michel and continued to challenge for second place in the championship, but as team boss, it is also my mission to look at the interests of the business in the long term.
“In our joint project with Michel, it has unfortunately proved to be difficult to find a suitable form of financing, and we have chosen to suspend our relationship. However, we are closing no doors for the future as Michel has shown he is one of the top drivers.
“Now we look forward to the final races of the season, and we have a few interesting things to announce in the coming weeks.”
Nykjaer himself was understandably disappointed with news of his programme being halted.
“There is nothing nice about this statement, but unfortunately it is part of motorsport,” he said. “I have had an fantastic season and I wanted to continue, you can't ignore the enormous financial effort that is required to compete at this level.
“This has been the most important year so far in my career and I remain hopeful for the future. I will continue to have a close relationship with the team and wish them all the best for the rest of the season.”