Some of Supercars’ biggest names have paid tribute to Garry Rogers after the Hall of Famer confirmed he would walk away at the end of 2019, ending 24 years in the category.
Garry Rogers Motorsport (GRM)’s entries were a glaring omission when submissions for the 2020 Supercars season were made this week.
The writing was on the wall when GRM naming rights sponsor Boost Mobile last week announced it would pull funding unless Supercars introduced more control components to ensure a level playing field and save team costs.
While not totally unexpected after Supercars did not meet the sponsor’s demands, touring car mainstay Rogers’ confirmation he would pull his team out of the category in an emotional speech to his staff on Friday still resonated throughout Australian motorsport.
GRM won the 2000 Bathurst 1000 but was renowned for giving some of Supercars’ biggest names their big break.
Star Scott McLaughlin was among those who got his start with GRM before moving to DJR Team Penske at the end of 2016.
He currently holds a 622 point series lead after claiming his maiden Bathurst 1000 last weekend.
McLaughlin said he was gutted to hear the familiar GRM name would not feature in 2020.
“I’m really saddened,” he told Supercars.com.
“Outside my family, Garry would be in the top three most important people who influenced my career.
“In terms of Supercars, I put him above everyone. He gave me my chance.
“He brought in so many good people over the years, not only drivers, but fantastic workers in the sport who have gone on to bigger and better things.
“He’s not afraid to give people a chance, that’s one thing I’ll always be incredibly grateful for from Garry.”
Other famous drivers who cut their teeth at GRM – seven-time series champion Jamie Whincup and Bathurst champions Garth Tander, Steven Richards, Jason Bargwanna and Jason Bright – paid tribute on social media.
Rogers indicated he may return to the category if it offered a more sustainable model, citing escalating team costs for convincing him to walk away.
Supercars have taken steps to reduce costs by introducing reduced downforce, control dampers and drop in engine power next year but Rogers said they need to do more.
GRM’s final Supercars event is in Newcastle from November 22-24 but it will continue to run teams in the TCR Australia and S5000 categories.