British Touring Car Championship boss Alan Gow has insisted that the series is not reliant on manufacturer involvement following Vauxhall's announcement that it will withdraw at the end of the season.
Vauxhall was the last remaining works team in the championship following SEAT's exit at the end of 2008, but today revealed that it will not continue into the 2010 season.
"Over the last six years we have seen direct manufacturer involvement decline within the BTCC, yet at the exact same time we have seen crowd figures, TV audiences and competitor numbers rise," said Gow.
"That's certainly no coincidence and the facts prove that a heavy degree of manufacturer involvement is no longer crucial to either the success or popularity of the championship."
Gow added that he expects Vauxhall to return to the BTCC when the global economic situation improves.
"While it's obviously very regrettable to see Vauxhall withdrawing from the BTCC next year, it's also perfectly understandable," Gow added. "I know that Vauxhall made this decision with a very heavy heart and I would bet good money on the fact that we will see them back again in the BTCC."