Supercars team owner Ryan Walkinshaw has dismissed any suggestion he lacks the passion required to be successful in the championship.
Outgoing Walkinshaw Andretti United (WAU) driver James Courtney created a stir ahead of this weekend's Auckland SuperSprint saying his team lacked a figure similar to Red Bull Holden Racing Team principal Roland Dane.
"I think Ryan does love the team and everything but I think it just lacked that - I'll probably regret saying this - but that Roland-like figure that's there and sort of, not that you have to beat the desk, but is there (with) passion and skin in the game," Courtney told Fox Sports.
The comments were the last thing British-based Walkinshaw needed to deal with as he scrambles to secure a new naming rights backer for his former factory-backed Holden team following the termination of their deal with petroleum company Mega Limited.
"I wouldn't have spent the last two weeks doing 12-hour days pushing for sponsors if I wasn't passionate about the team," Walkinshaw said.
"I certainly wouldn't be flying out to Australia 30 times a year for it as well."
The collapse of the deal with Mega, which was placed into receivership earlier this month, comes amid ongoing negotiations over the driver line-up for WAU in 2020.
2010 champion Courtney is leaving after nine years with the team while Scott Pye is yet to secure a new deal.
Walkinshaw says the search for a new naming rights sponsor hasn't changed their plans for drivers next year with Pye one of several reportedly in negotiations including potential overseas recruits.
With the showpiece Bathurst 1000 approaching, Walkinshaw was confident he'll secure a replacement sponsor.
"Putting aside an ordeal like having to go through a terrible injury for one of your people in your team or for a driver for example in this sport, the second-worst thing that can probably happen is a sponsor going into receivership halfway through the season. Let's be realistic about it," he said.
"We're not going to shy away from that.
"The opportunity in it is that we've had some time to go out there and sell, lots of good conversations are ongoing with existing and new sponsors ... and we've got the best weekends of the year to sell."