Caterham launches crowdfunding project in bid to race in Abu Dhabi

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The administrators at Caterham F1 Team have launched an ambitious crowdfunding project to try and get the team on the grid for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Last month, it was confirmed that Caterham had entered administration following a dispute between its former owner, Tony Fernandes, and a group called Engavest that had supposedly bought the team.

Workers at the Leafield base were locked out of the factory and told not to return until funding had been secured for the team so it could either race in Abu Dhabi or make the grid for the beginning of the 2015 season.

Today, in a bid to make the final race of the year, the team has launched a crowdfunding project called #RefuelCaterhamF1, asking for donations from fans to raise enough money to reach the grid in Abu Dhabi at the end of the season.

The team has set a target of raising £2.35m – $3.7m – in the next seven days to be able to race in the final round of the 2014 season at Yas Marina, offering a number of perks to fans who do wish to donate.

“The Caterham F1 Team is launching the #RefuelCaterhamF1 to power the team to go racing in Abu Dhabi and hopefully beyond,” the crowdfunding page reads.

“The team is giving both fans and sponsors a unique opportunity to be the driving force behind the team by crowdfunding its return to the grid in exchange for once in a lifetime rewards.”

You can see the full crowdfunding page by clicking here.

“We are working non-stop to get the Caterham F1 Team back racing, initially in Abu Dhabi, but hopefully that will be just a stepping stone to get it back racing on a permanent basis, under new ownership,” administrator Finbarr O’Connell said in a statement.

“In order to achieve that one of our most useful, innovative and effective options right now is crowdfunding. We want to get as many sponsors and fans as possible involved this week and make our comeback something we can all be part of.

“This team deserves a future and I’m sure that there are plenty of fans and companies out there that agree with us, so I can’t think of a better way to get us all together and show our support to the team than this one, the Caterham F1 Team #RefuelCaterhamF1 project.”

This last-ditch attempt by Caterham comes on the same day that Marussia F1 Team formally ceased trading and closed its doors for good, proving just how difficult life at the back of the F1 field has become.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.