New Zealand might soon have its first Supercars champion in 25 years, but it's about to lose its only team in the series.
Super Black Racing Ford
Kiwi outfit Super Black Racing today confirmed it had sold its entitlement contract to current driver Tim Blanchard.
Blanchard, whose family has a long history in motorsport, will race his entry next season out of the Brad Jones Racing stable.
Super Black Racing team manager Greg Hahn said they did not get the support they needed from New Zealand to continue on.
"It's disappointing for the team and for our driver Chris Pither but, hopefully, it won't be the last time you see Super Black Racing on the grid line up," he said in a statement.
Championship leader Shane van Gisbergen, in prime position to win his maiden title, was disappointed by the news.
It was especially surprising given the amount of support they had last round in Auckland.
"It's pretty sad," he said.
"I think that's the second Kiwi team that's gone. It's pretty important to have that Kiwi side of support."
Van Gisbergen is 191 points clear of Holden Red Bull Racing teammate Jamie Whincup, with 300 points on offer this weekend.
The last Kiwi to win the Australian touring car crown was Jim Richards in 1991.