Autodromo Internacional de Curitiba

BRAZILIAN TOURING CUP

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BRAZILIAN TOURING CUP
Autodromo Internacional de Curitiba. 17 October 2019
January 04, 2004
In what has been a widely expected announcement since the end of the 2003 F1VWC Season, it has been confirmed that BMW will not be powering Stealth GP's cars in 2004 due to contractual performance clauses not being met.

Stealth Grand Prix made the shock announcement today that they would not be in the running for BMW engines for 2004, the bidding process for which is expected to take place next week. Despite being the team of choice for BMW in 2003, the two sides did not come close to achieving the objectives they sought at the beginning of the year and this no doubt put a quick strain on their relationship.

Stealth Owner & CEO Ted Cragg confirmed that the three year contract intended for 2003, 2004 and an option for 2005 has ended, retroactive to November 1st. "Our two sides have formally agreed to break the contract, and Stealth feels that it is in our best interest to move on and forge a relationship with another manufacturer" said Cragg. The Canadian would not drop hints as to who he would prefer to sign, but rumours have linked the team with Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and 'possibly' Jaguar.

Stealth and BMW entered what appeared to be a very prosperous relationship with great potential in the fall of 2002. The team then signed Vodafone, who contributed the most funding of any sponsor in the league, and confirmed a stellar lineup of Joe Consiglio, Eric Sosa, Martin Mirakhour and Miguel Oliveira. Despite early promise, including pole from Consiglio at the opening race, the league and the team soon hit massive difficulties which resulted in the exit of all but Sosa. Stealth withdrew briefly from the VWC for three months, but returned in June 2003 with Sosa and Chris Galloway at the helm.

Drivers would continue to rotate at the end of the season but Consiglio did return in September to give Stealth by far their greatest highlight of the year and their entire VWC career, a dominant win at Monza. Nevertheless, the strain on the relationship with BMW and the failed promise of 2003 appears to have put a permanent end to their partnership.


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