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Caterham launches crowdfunding plan

posted Nov 10, 2014, 11:39 PM by J Shaw   [ updated Nov 10, 2014, 11:52 PM ]
The administrator to the team also said that an unnamed "new financially-sound interested party" was considering acquiring Caterham.Finbarr O'Connell launched the crowdfunding to raise £2.35m in time for Caterham to race in the final grand prix of the season on 23 November.Mr O'Connell said the possible buyer emerged because of the fundraising.Crowdfunding works by people pledging donations or buying items linked to the company.

Caterham is selling earplugs and badges and is offering people the chance to enter a competition to have their name on a racing car at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on 23 November - assuming the team finds enough money to compete.

As of late Sunday afternoon, Caterham's crowdfunding website showed that it had raised £1.075m from 2,199 backers.

However, Mr O'Connell's project has been criticised by some people in the sport, including F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who say teams should not be funded via "begging bowls".

But Mr O'Connell, of administrators Smith & Williamson, said there had been a misunderstanding about his project.

"The plan is not to run a F1 team by using crowdfunding, but rather this funding is providing a stepping stone for the team to a new financially sound future," he said.

"If teams don't race they are at a huge disadvantage as regards a potential purchaser making a very expensive purchase decision and this project gives the team the ability to showcase itself and especially its cars."

Mr O'Connell said he was pleased with the fundraising project so far, which was gathering momentum.


"I am not packing my toothbrush as yet, though, and there is still a lot of fundraising to be done by the team.''

"However, it is clear this campaign is becoming international. We have been approached by a number of people and organisations who have offered their support in different ways... as they want to see the team back on the grid.

"Most importantly, a new financially-sound interested party has entered the arena and is considering acquiring the team. This new interest is wholly due to this campaign," he said.

The fundraising campaign closes on Friday.

F1 has been in financial turmoil since Caterham and rival team Marussia hit trouble. Marussia has ceased trading and shut its factory at Banbury in Oxfordshire.

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