Phil Glew will join Fabrizio Giovanardi on the Triple 8 sidelines as it was announced the team have been forced to cut back due to sponsorship issues.

Glew had been preparing for the weekend at Rockingham after an impressive debut at Thruxton but was left without a drive as team sponsors UNIQ pulled out.

“We severely underestimated the impact that our brand exposure would have on the demand for certain products and services in the UK market, so to maintain sponsorship with Triple 8 would actually present us with a series of business problems,” a UNIQ spokesman told this week’s AUTOSPORT magazine.

Personal sponsors to Glew, WD-40’s Head of UK Marketing David Whittome said: “We have supported Phil Glew for the last two years, first in the Renault Clio Cup, which he won, and now in BTCC.”

“We fully support recognise his fantastic potential in motor sport and will be working hard to find ways in which we can continue to work with him in the future.”

Glew added: “I'm devastated to be out of the car at this early stage in the season. My main efforts are now focused on putting together a concrete package which suits WD-40, myself, and our other sponsors to enable us to begin racing again and continue our fantastic relationship.”

Triple 8 will run a sole Vauxhall for James Nash who secured sponsorship backing for Rockingham which will see his car run with branding to promote the release of Avatar on DVD.