Garry Rogers Motorsport pulls out of Supercars
Garry Rogers Motorsport won't compete in Supercars beyond the end of the 2019 season.
The team has confirmed that it two Racing Entitlements Contracts will be handed back at the end of this season, the team unable to make the commitment for 2020 by today's 5pm entry deadline.
GRM's situation has been highly complicated by its major sponsor Boost Mobile's ongoing feud with Supercars over control components, which led to an ultimatum being made over the Bathurst weekend.
The category refused to yield to Boost boss Peter Adderton's control upright demands, effectively leaving GRM without any guarantee of backing for its 2020 Supercars programme.
Rogers says he did approach Supercars regarding an extension to the 5pm entry deadline, in a bid to try and rescue his Supercars programme – however that request was turned down.
As a result he says he had little choice but to hand back his licences.
"I went to Supercars and requested an extension of a week or two to perhaps put a business plan together where we'd stay in the Supercars business, but they rejected that," he said in an address to GRM staff.
"The Supercars business, I do it because I love doing it. It's not a big financial gainer of any kind; we make some money some years, we lose some money some years, but we enjoy it and I enjoy it because of the people I do it with.
"Supercars have tried, without success, to curtail the costs. They have not done a good job of that, and you we, as a team, couldn't afford to keep doing it the way the rules are currently structured.
"So we just had to decide what we're going to do. We had to make sure we kept our house rolling along."
The news leaves the futures of current drivers Richie Stanaway and James Golding unclear.
It also means there's likely to be 23 cars on the Supercars grid next year, the loss of the two GRM entries and two of the Kelly Racing entries partly counteracted by expansion at Team 18, Brad Jones Racing and Tekno.
GRM has been a mainstay in Supercars since 1996, expanding to two cars in 1998 and winning the Bathurst 1000 with Garth Tander and Jason Bargwanna in 2000.
It's mostly ran Holdens, although enjoyed a period of success as Volvo's factory Supercars squad between 2014 and 2016.
That is something Rogers says is one of his highlights of his time in Supercars, referencing Scott McLaughlin's famous 'jandal' moment after beating Jamie Whincup to second place in Adelaide in 2014.
"The highlights to me are obviously our Bathurst win in 2000, and I probably think the Volvo programme, Scotty's lap with Whincup at Adelaide..." he said.
"When Volvo went, that was the end of an era."
The team will continue to operate, focussing on its TCR and S5000 programmes.
"We're not going out of business, we're in business," said Rogers.
"Our business might even grow more, I don't know what we'll do.
"We've got the TCR programme, we've got the S5000s, what else we do I don't know. But I bet you London to a brick, the phone won't stop ringing and the work won't stop coming.
"So it's not all about doom and gloom. The fact is, we're in."
Rogers also paid an emotional tribute to the teams fans.
"The punters over the hill, and over the telly, and the people you see in the pub... those are the people that are vital to sport of any kind," he said.
"I won't miss them because I'll still be here."
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