Sports car newcomer Fortec Motorsport has withdrawn from this weekend's Blancpain Endurance Series opener at Monza.
The British team, which has expanded into GT racing from single-seaters for this season, has pulled its two Mercedes SLS AMGs from the first round following the late arrival of sponsorship funds.
Stalwart team manager Trevor Foster, who is running the GT programme at Daventry-based Fortec, said: "It is very disappointing to have to withdraw from Monza at this very late stage, but with the delay in the sponsorship funding, we have had very little choice in the matter."
Foster stressed that the team was planning to make its BES debut at round two of the series at Silverstone in June and that the withdrawal would not affect its British GT Championship campaign with the same cars.
Fortec's decision means the entry in the Blancpain Pro Cup professional driver lineups drops to 20 cars for Monza.
The team, which is also running cars in Formula Renault 3.5, Formula 3 and Formula Renault 2.0 this year, made its sports car debut at the British GT season opener at Oulton Park at the start of April.