Radio Sandwell Sport

Caterham to race in Abu Dhabi finale after raising funds

2014-11-14 23:26:20

Caterham

Caterham's administrator says the team will race at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix following the success of a public crowd-funding project.

The team went into administration last month and had been seeking to raise £2.35m in order to return to action.

"We set ourselves a major challenge, but it's been worth it. In only a week the fans have made the impossible possible," Finbarr O'Connell said.

Caterham sat out the last two grands prix in the United States and Brazil.

Although the team is currently just under £500,000 short of its target, sponsors have come on board to make up the shortfall.

The crowd-funding initiative offered rewards to investors ranging from Caterham-branded earplugs and caps through to used race suits and carbon engine covers.

O'Connell, representing administrator Smith & Williamson, added: "We knew that the best way to keep this team alive and attract possible buyers was to show that it's still a racing team and be in Abu Dhabi for the finale.

"There aren't enough words to say how grateful we are to all the fans who have made this possible.

"We now head to Abu Dhabi ready to show what a hard-working and positive group of people this is and to hopefully secure a future for the team."

Caterham

Crowd-funding is a way of asking people to invest money in businesses or projects. More than nine million investments and donations were made last year.

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O'Connell earlier told BBC Sport the team was close to signing a contract that would "press the green button" on its return.

He revealed the contract awaiting completion related to a driver, with at least one vacancy at the team following Marcus Ericsson's decision to terminate his association with the team with immediate effect.

"There's a variety of contracts but this particular one is with one of the drivers we've been talking to," he said.

O'Connell declined to reveal the names of any drivers under consideration by the Oxfordshire-based outfit, although British female driver Alice Powell had been hopeful of securing a drive in free practice.

Caterham
Caterham's fundraising scheme was around £500,000 short of its target on Friday afternoon

However, Powell tweeted on Friday it was "very unlikely"  that would happen due to problems getting a super licence.

O'Connell added that the income brought by the driver deal would "go into the pool" of money so far raised by Caterham's crowd-funding project, which is due to expire at midnight on Friday.

As of 14:30 GMT on Friday the fund stood at just over £1.87m - 79% of the £2.35m target stated when the scheme was launched a week ago.

Although the figure was climbing rapidly - the total stood at just 57% of the target first thing on Friday morning - O'Connell said it was likely the team would seek to extend the fundraising scheme right up to the race in Abu Dhabi on 23 November.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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