The deal between Rally Great Britain and its principal backer the Welsh Assembly Government has broken down - leaving the event without a sponsor for this season.
Britain's round of the World Rally Championship was launched in Cardiff this morning, with the disagreement between the two parties apparent by the lack of any mention of Wales in the event's official title.
The agreement which had been brokered earlier this month faltered this week and, despite last-minute meetings ahead of this morning's launch, a new resolution could not be reached.
What had appeared to be a positive outcome for both parties - with the WAG providing £1.5m funding for this season and £1m for 2010 and 2011 if International Motor Sports (the commercial arm of Rally GB) elected to remain in Cardiff - has disappeared and both parties are now resolute that this matter will be decided in court. The break down leaves the MSA to fund this year's Rally GB after all.
Rally GB chief executive Andrew Coe said: "This does, in effect mean we're back to square one. We're trying to resolve this issue. Unfortunately as of today we haven't been able to do that and we were left with no alternative but to launch Rally Great Britain [as opposed to Wales Rally Great Britain]."
In his speech at the launch, Coe paid tribute to the ongoing association between the event and Cardiff City Council, saying: "We have had help and valued support from the Cardiff City Council for 10 years. We have been and remain privileged to work with the thoroughly professional team from the council."
Publicly, Coe said little about the legal battle at the launch, saying: "You will have noticed the title of the event launched today. We had notification some time ago that our sponsor had curtailed the agreement we signed in 2007 until 2011.
"The concern which prompted that action was that Rally GB was not on a provisional WRC calendar for 2010. World Motor Sport Council recently confirmed Rally GB does have a place, leaving this [action] unfounded. While legal action is ongoing, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further on this."
Such was the indecision on whether agreement would be reached, the signs directing people to the launch stated 'Wales Rally Great Britain' while the press kit accompanying the launch did not. It is believed two versions of the press kit were produced this morning.