Team Sydney has confirmed it will field two cars for the remainder of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, despite the sudden exit of James Courtney.
The 2010 champion made a shock announcement on Saturday that he has split with the squad after a single event, and is now working on other plans alongside sponsor Boost Mobile.
In a statement issued by the team, owner Jonathon Webb declared a Courtney replacement will be announced “in due course”, while confirming Chris Pither will continue in the #22 entry.
A report today had claimed Pither was set to follow Courtney in exiting the squad, which has taken on the Team Sydney moniker this year after previously operating as Tekno Autosports.
“Team Sydney remains committed to delivering two competitive Supercars in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship,” said Webb.
“James Courtney’s departure from Team Sydney will not affect this.
“We confirm that Chris Pither and Coca-Cola Amatil remain committed to Team Sydney, despite speculation from media outlets.
“We continue our preparation for competition at the Australian Grand Prix and will release the driver and livery of Car 19 in due course.
“On behalf of our team and my family, I’d like to thank our sponsor partners and followers for their continued support and involvement in the Team Sydney project.
“We will fortify our efforts and move forward. Lastly, we wish James the best for his racing future.”
Pither had only been confirmed in the second entry on the Tuesday prior to the season-opening Superloop Adelaide 500.
The deal marked a return to the main game for the 2018 Dunlop Super2 Series winner after a three-year absence.
Pither added: “I am pleased to clarify I’m not going anywhere and I’m grateful to be back in the Supercars Championship.
“Jon Webb and his team have done a great job to get Team Sydney on the grid this year and secure Coca-Cola Amatil as a partner.
“We are a new team, we have realistic expectations, we all want results, we have passion and we will continue to grow.
“As a team we appreciate the positive support, which is why I wanted to clear any inaccurate and negative suggestions around our future.
“I look forward to sharing a Coke with you at the AGP!"
The Adelaide event was a challenging one for Team Sydney, with Courtney and Pither currently 22nd and 23rd of the 24 runners in the championship.