February 5, 2015 / 2:28 PM / 4 years ago

Motor racing-Caterham F1 team assets to be auctioned off

LONDON (Reuters) - Hopes of rescuing the failed Caterham Formula One team looked to be over on Thursday after auctioneers said they would sell off the assets, including 2014 cars and pit lane equipment, next month.

Members of the Caterham Formula One team prepare their car at the Yas Marina circuit before the start of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in this file photo taken on November 20, 2014. REUTERS/Caren Firouz

Auctioneers Wyles Hardy & Co said in a statement that they had been instructed by administrators Smith & Williamson “to realize the assets of the Caterham F1 race team”.

They said a series of on-line timed auction sales, starting on March 11 and running through to May 14, will be held to sell off everything from race equipment to memorabilia and office furniture.

The race and hospitality trailers, race simulator, autoclaves and Dell HPC super computer would be offered as negotiated sales separate from the auctions.

Caterham, who never scored a point, went into administration in October and missed the U.S. and Brazilian Grands Prix before raising money through a crowd-funding initiative to compete at the finale in Abu Dhabi last November.

As late as last month, administrator Finbarr O’Connell had held out hope of finding a buyer although he recognized time was running out with the season starting in Australia on March 15.

The first pre-season test ended on Wednesday without Caterham’s involvement.

“As long as there are people (out) there who have got a real possibility of doing something, I’m not going to close it (the team) down,” he had told Reuters on Jan. 22.

“Because if I do, then I will just be organizing an auction as regards the assets — which I can do at any stage anyway.”

Caterham were founded by Malaysian aviation entrepreneur Tony Fernandes, who also runs struggling Queens Park Rangers Premier League soccer club and retains the Caterham sportscar company, in 2010 as Lotus Racing.

Fernandes lost interest and exited in July, handing over to a mystery group of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors with Colin Kolles serving as consultant.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis

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