F1: Caterham administrators still pushing for team’s sale

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Caterham administrator Finbarr O’Connell said on Thursday that he was “still hopeful” about the prospect of a sale involving the beleaguered Formula One franchise.

With the start of the 2015 World Championship now less than two months away, time’s running out to get Caterham on the grid.

However, O’Connell told Reuters that he’s not ready to give up in his pursuit of a buyer for the team.

“As long as there are people [out] there who have got a real possibility of doing something, I’m not going to close [the team] down,” he said. “Because if I do, then I will just be organizing an auction as regards the assets – which I can do at any stage anyway.”

Still, he knows the clock is ticking and the possibility exists that all of his efforts may ultimately go for naught.

“I’ve had people visiting the site,” O’Connell added. ‘Some people are trying to find a way to make it work for them. We will do anything we can to make it happen, but it’s really in the hands of the prospective purchasers.

“I’m very conscious that a time will come when it will not make sense for anybody to invest large sums of money in racing the Caterham team for the 2015 season. Time will just run out.”

Caterham and Marussia both went into administration last fall and missed multiple races, although Caterham made the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on the strength of a successful crowd-funding campaign.

But as of now, the chances of a return to the grid appear to have gotten better for Marussia.

A scheduled auction of its race cars, spares, and pit equipment was cancelled earlier this week, so the team could engage in talks with a potential new investor. Marussia boss John Booth himself expressed confidence that a deal could be struck.

Booth’s bunch claimed ninth place in the 2014 Constructor’s Championship despite missing the final three events of the 2014 season. That result sets Marussia up for a sizable amount of prize money – but only if an investor can be found.

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”