Infiniti withdraws factory support from Support our Paras BTCC team

Infiniti has withdrawn its manufacturer support of the paratrooper-affiliated British Touring Car Championship team with immediate effect

Infiniti withdraws factory support from Support our Paras BTCC team

The Support our Paras Racing team has had a troubled start to its inaugural season in the BTCC, with Derek Palmer Jr achieving a best finish of 17th in his Q50.

It intends to continue without the support of the Japanese manufacturer, but ex-Formula 1 driver Martin Donnelly will not be retained for Oulton Park.

"Naturally we wish Infiniti well in the future, but the team is now in the strong position where it can refocus and concentrate on developing and growing in keeping with its core beliefs," said team principal Derek Palmer Sr.

"We now have a seat available in the second car. This is available from Oulton Park through not only the rest of this season, but the whole of 2016."

It is understood that Infiniti supplied the team with Q50 shells and contributed to the build cost under the initial agreement, but did not extend its involvement beyond that.

The Japanese marque evaluated increasing its direct link to the team in the wake of a difficult opening round at Brands Hatch, where just one car was ready, and further troubles at Donington Park where Palmer's engine blew and forced him to miss races two and three.

Donnelly was drafted in for Richard Hawken for Thruxton by Infiniti, but power-steering problems compromised the team's weekend again.

BTCC series director Alan Gow said: "Of course the relationship between the two parties is a matter purely between themselves.

"However the BTCC should thank Infiniti for their considerable initial investment, which enabled the team to build and compete with the Q50 - and it's pleasing to note that the team will continue with those cars.

"Perhaps we may also see Infiniti themselves return to the BTCC, some time in the not too distant future."

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