The Onyx Race Engineering team’s hopes of entering this year’s FIA World Touring Car Championship look set to be dashed, following confirmation that its hoped-for partner, Ford, has blocked the proposed homologation of the cars the team had planned to race.
It is understood that the team had planned on entering with a pair of Ford Fiesta saloons fitted with the Montune-built engines that the team – then known as Arena Motorsport – had used in 2012.
The team, run by former Formula 1 team owner Mike Earle, will now have to reevaluate their plans, which could include a partnership with another manufacturer or moving across to another championship series.
“Onyx has been working hard to produce a complete programme for the WTCC this year, but found several problems, especially in the aspect of approval,” the WTCC’s new Motorsport Director, Francois Ribeiro, said.
“Onyx is finished, and this is because Ford refuses to homologate the car. If the manufacturer refuses to homologate the car, they cannot participate.”
All cars entered in the FIA World Touring Car Championship require homologation by the manufacturer, even if the manufacturer doesn’t provide any financial support.
Arena Motorsport itself raced in the WTCC without Ford’s financial support in 2012, although it had previously enjoyed strong ties with the car maker when Ford partnered with it in the 2009 British Touring Car Championship.
Image via FIA WTCC Media