The Sasol-backed Toyota RunXs that have been campaigning in class B of the 2008 Bridgestone SA Production Car Championship have been withdrawn with immediate effect.
This follows an announcement by Sasol Oil’s head of motor sport sponsorships, Dean Somerset, who commented: "We have been forced to take this action as a result of the inability of the controllers of the Bridgestone Production Car Championship to provide a level playing field for the competitors in class B.
"We have had several meetings with the controllers to communicate our concern about the rules governing this championship, specifically as they affect the competitors in class B, and we have regrettably been unable to make any progress. We understand the need to have rules that contribute towards providing competitors and, most importantly, the fans with close and exciting racing.
"However, this is not the case right now in class B, nor has it been for some time. The competition is unequal and the difference between the fastest car in the class and the others – particularly as demonstrated at the most recent round of the championship at Zwartkops Raceway last weekend – is disproportionate."
Somerset paid tribute to Sasol's team of Dave Compton (twice a former class B winner in a Toyota RunX) and Riyad Jaffer, last year’s runner-up, as well as to the privateer Race Prep team of Rod Hering, who prepare the two racing Toyotas.
"The entire team has worked hard and with great enthusiasm to do their best under the circumstances. They have had a frustrating year so far and deserve better reward for their efforts. We are also grateful to Toyota for their invaluable assistance in our privateer RunX racing programme."
Somerset added that the decision to withdraw the SASOL Toyotas from class B would in no way affect SASOL’s support of the two factory Nissan 350Zs competing in class A.