World Touring Car Championship team bamboo engineering have confirmed that they are to take a sabbatical year from the championship, as the series moves to new regulations.
The British team have competed in the WTCC since the 2010 season, achieving two wins and eight podiums in that time, all of which came during the 2013 season.
However the move to new regulations for the 2014 season, which sees the introduction of all-new faster and more powerful ‘TC1′ cars, has led the team to take a sabbatical. The team’s plans to buy a pair of RML-built new-spec Chevrolets have therefore been cancelled after they failed to raise the required funds to buy and run the cars.
“Regretfully we won’t be competing in WTCC this season,” said Chief Executive Richard Coleman. “It was too difficult for us to raise the required budget to compete at the very front of the grid, and bamboo-engineering is about going forward.”
Despite the set-back for 2014 the team are hopeful of returning to the grid in 2015.
“We will actively seek the right circumstances for our return in 2015,” added Coleman. “The WTCC has a very bright future, and I know first-hand how much progress is being made.”
Eurosport Events’ François Ribeiro is determined to ensure that independent teams like bamboo engineering are able to continue to compete in the WTCC.
“As the championship promoter, we really enjoyed our relationship with bamboo-engineering and we will be working closely with them to bring the team back on WTCC at the top level they are aiming for,” added Ribeiro.
Both of bamboo’s British drivers from 2013, Alex MacDowall and James Nash, will therefore switch to GT racing for the 2014 season.