The Garry Rogers Motorsport team has become the latest V8 Supercars team to lose its naming rights sponsor, with principal backer Fujitsu announcing it will end its four-year relationship with the team ahead of its transition to becoming Volvo’s works team in 2014.
The Melbourne-based team and its main backer confirmed the news today, joining the likes of the Holden Racing Team (Toll) and Erebus Motorsport (SP Tools and IRWIN Tools) in losing its naming rights sponsor at the end of the season.
The announcement comes just ahead of the team’s transition away from Holden, where it will be known as Volvo Polestar Racing in 2014, fielding a pair of Volvo S60 racers purpose-built for the current ‘Car of the Future’ regulations.
“We’ve had a great relationship with GRM, what was initially a two year agreement signed in season 2010 was extended to four years which has resulted in a very commercially rewarding and enjoyable partnership, however given our changing commercial focus we’ve had to re-assess all of our sponsorship commitments going forward,” Fujitsu Australia’s deputy Managing Director, Philip Perham, said in today’s announcement.
While the announcement presents a setback for the team, team owner Garry Rogers remained bullish about the team’s prospects of securing replacement backing, indicating that many potential sponsors could be tempted to join the team in its new Volvo guise.
“We have been working with Volvo and Polestar since early this year in designing and developing these cars in preparation for the season opener in Adelaide on February 27,” he said.
“Next year’s program has generated a lot of interest and we will now be following up all avenues so as to secure suitable commercial business partners to join the GRM team.”
“We have got some inquiries about next year,” he also told the Speed Café website. “We have spoken to Fujitsu as they have with us. We’ve spoken to several people and we will continue to do so.
“[But] I don’t believe another backer will have to fit in with the Volvo brand image.”
Ahead of the penultimate championship round at Phillip Island on the weekend of 22-24 November, the team’s #33 entry of Scott McLaughlin will undergo a shakedown test to ensure that the electrical gremlins which hampered its performance last time out at the Gold Coast 600 have disappeared.
McLaughlin – one of the standout performers of the 2013 season – has already been confirmed as part of the team’s line-up next year, while teammate Alexandre Prémat continues to wait for news on whether he will be retained.