Just a week after finishing eighth in the Bathurst 1000, Cameron McLean and his Paragon Motorsport team announced today they will quit the V8 Supercar series and sell their Level Two franchise at the end of this season. Team Manager and...
Just a week after finishing eighth in the Bathurst 1000, Cameron McLean and his Paragon Motorsport team announced today they will quit the V8 Supercar series and sell their Level Two franchise at the end of this season.
Team Manager and co-owner Ross Dillon announced the decision after being told principal sponsor V.I.P. Pet Foods would not renew its contract next season, because it was dissatisfied with the amount of coverage given the team during race telecasts on the Ten Network.
"It was a simple business decision by V.I.P. The owner, Tony Quinn, could not justify further investment for the amount of TV exposure our team received this year," Dillon said.
"It's hard to disagree. Bathurst was our best result of the year and it was the year's most important race, but even then we got hardly any mention in the telecast, as many of our supporters phoned last week to tell us.
"We were the first Level Two team to finish and only the third Ford, we started 19th, stayed on the lead lap throughout the seven hours and came home eighth, but even some of the non-finishers got more air time than Cameron McLean and Tony Scott.
"That's the way it's been at virtually every race this season and what has brought us to this situation.
"Cameron and I believe it would be extremely difficult to replace such a substantial sponsorship and so we have decided reluctantly we have little choice but to sell up."
After completing the last three rounds of the season, Paragon Motorsport will offer for sale everything in its Brisbane operation, from the Level Two franchise, to its year-old Ford Falcon race car, transporter and all spares and equipment.
In addition, it will cancel its order for a new Falcon BA shell, which was expected to have been delivered in January.
McLean, who won the Privateers' championship in his first V8 Supercar season in 1999, says he has no plans for 2003 but may seek a drive with another team.
"We still have to complete 2002 and everyone in the team will do that to their best ability," McLean said.
"We have not only V.I.P. Pet Foods but also many other sponsors who have been tremendously loyal and who will in turn earn our loyalty until the very last lap.
"I'm deeply disappointed we can't continue next year. Although Paragon was one of the smallest teams in V8 Supercar racing, with just three employees, we achieved some excellent results and certainly were on our way to better things next year."
In addition to V.I.P. Pet Foods, the Paragon Motorsport Ford Falcon V8 Supercar is sponsored by All Power Steering, Eibach Springs, Freightliner Trucks, Jade Engineering, PPG Paints, Revolution Racegear, Screen Offset Printing, Snap-on Tools, Spandex, Street Smart Designs, Wurth and Cox Lawn Care Products.