Peugeot Sport today announced the release of Matt Neal from his contract to drive the 406 Coupé in the 2001 BTCC.
A last minute breakdown in negotiations with a non-motorsport related major sponsor that was to fund the third car has meant that only two of the 406 Coupé's are likely to be raced at Thruxton on 7th May.
Mick Linford, Peugeot Motorsport Manager said, "I am extremely disappointed for the team and of course for Matt's sake. It was a joint approach that failed unexpectedly at the very last moment. Unfortunately for Matt, Steve Soper and Dan Eaves were contracted first and as such, it was Matt who suffered most with the loss of the sponsor. I hope we can renew the relationship one day in the future."
"I would hope the third car will rejoin the BTCC in the not too distant future, but until additional funding is sourced, we will remain a two car team."
Matt Neal said, "I needed a commitment for the year, but when the sponsorship talks broke down, Peugeot could only guarantee part of the championship. That was unacceptable. I am very disappointed but I do understand the reality of the situation and wish the team well."