Administrators to auction off remaining Caterham assets

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Just as there appear to be signs of life at Marussia/Manor ahead of the 2015 Formula 1 season, the death knell is sounding for Caterham as its administrators prepare to auction off the team’s assets.

The team fell into administration following last year’s Russian Grand Prix, forcing it to miss two races before making a shock comeback in Abu Dhabi in a last-ditch bid to secure investment for the new year.

However, this appears to have fallen flat, with a statement from auctioneers Wyles Hardy & Co. confirming that the administrators are now preparing to sell off the assets of the team.

“Acting for the Joint Administrators Finbarr O’Connell, Henry Shinners and Anthony Spicer of Smith & Williamson, Wyles Hardy & Co have been instructed to realise the assets of the Caterham F1 race team,” a statement reads.

“A series of online timed auction sales will be held covering the race equipment, engineering facility, F1 memorabilia, IT and communications, office furniture and as well as private treaty sales for the Race Trailer Fleet, the state of the art Race Simulator, Dell HPC super computer and Autoclaves.

“The first Auction will focus on the race support and pit lane equipment including the 2014 chassis’ and show cars and is scheduled for early March. Further details of the sale items and terms of sale etc will be found at www.wyleshardy.com/caterhamf1/.”

The auction is set to begin on March 11, four days before the first race of the year in Australia.

Caterham fell into financial difficulty in the middle of last season after former owner Tony Fernandes and potential buyers Engavest entered a legal dispute over the sale of the team.

This ultimately led to the operation falling into administration, coming into control of Finbarr O’Connell who surprisingly managed to secure a comeback for the team at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix thanks in part to a crowdfunding scheme.

O’Connell was then tasked with finding a buyer for the team over the winter, telling Reuters just two weeks ago: “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.”

However, his best efforts appear to have now fallen short. Marussia had been set to go down a similar road after missing the last three races of last year, only for its own auction to be cancelled after talks with new buyers began to gain momentum.

The Caterham auction could generate some interest from Gene Haas, who recently acquired the old Marussia factory ahead of his F1 team’s debut at the beginning of the 2016 season.

After five years of racing, the Caterham story has come to a sad and bitter end, and we can only hope that Formula 1 learns from its plight in the future when it comes to fixing the financial crisis the sport is currently facing.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.