Elf Clio Renaultsport UK Cup front-runner and 2001 championship favourite, Rick Pearson has today announced that his sponsor, ActiveShop.com have withdrawn their support as a result of resource restructuring. "I am sad to lose ActiveShop.com as...
Elf Clio Renaultsport UK Cup front-runner and 2001 championship favourite, Rick Pearson has today announced that his sponsor, ActiveShop.com have withdrawn their support as a result of resource restructuring.
"I am sad to lose ActiveShop.com as a UK sponsor," Pearson commented, "but understand that their brand building exercise has reached a natural conclusion for the moment. It is understandable that having raised brand awareness, they now wish to re-focus their resources on extending the technical advantage they enjoy over their e-commerce rivals.
"We had a great season together last year and I wish them all the very best with the upcoming launch of Version 1.5 of their software."
Dickie Armour, Global Head of Sales for ActiveShop.com confirmed the move but stressed the benefits of last season's successful association with Pearson. "Rick put in a great season for us last year and the media coverage he obtained for us was worth multiples of our sponsorship spend," he said. "We wish him all the very best with his race career and will definitely be back on that Clio as soon as we need to raise brand awareness again."
Having entered the Clio Cup as a rookie, Fulham-based Pearson impressed onlookers with a series of spirited and committed drives against his more experienced rivals. His thrilling debut victory at Brands Hatch stands as one of the season's highlights, as does his inaugural podium visit following the Snetterton Night Race in June.
The former Caterham graduate also played a defining role in helping Mark Fish Motorsport to the team title. Racing alongside eventual champion, Jim Edwards Jnr, Pearson's eight top-ten finishes and impressive qualifying record ensured a double-whammy for the Essex-based squad.
Prior to today's announcement, Pearson was tipped for individual honours in the forthcoming championship chase. However, the loss of ActiveShop.com as title-sponsor for the UK Campaign has dealt a severe blow to his hopes of capitalising on last year's success. Pearson now looks unlikely to make the grid for the season-opener, to be held at Brands Hatch on the 16th of April.
"Having won on the Brands Indy circuit last time out, I was expecting to be extremely competitive there as a means of launching a very serious championship challenge," Pearson admitted. "However, we still have six weeks to go until the start of the season and I am actively pursuing sponsorship opportunities at the moment. It would be fair to say that deals have been done in less time so I'm still optimistic of being on the grid at Brands Hatch though it does look a little doubtful at the moment. As a result of today's announcement, both of the ActiveShop Clios are up for sale."
For more information, please contact: Rebecca Appleton on (07929 955235) or Mark Fish Motorsport (01279 431628).
- Rebecca Appleton