Sunday, November 9, 2014

Caterham Looks to Crowdfunding to Field Effort at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Photo Credit: Caterham F1 Team/ Charles Coates/LAT Photographic

If you have noticed, the Formula 1 grid has been shallower recently. The race in the United States and this weekend's event in Brazil feature only 18 cars as two teams have recently pulled out of competition based on lack of funds. The loss of vehicles evolved from the Marussia and Caterham F1 Team struggling to sustain their off-track race operations after months of barely holding heads above financial waters. While it appears Maruassia's Formula 1 endeavour is essentially over, Caterham might race at least one more event in 2014. Currently in an ownership dispute, Caterham has been trying to remain business as usual through much of the summer into the fall. However, the trip to the Americas late in the season was unobtainable. In an effort to running at the finale event, the struggling grand prix team is hoping to earn their way to Abu Dhabi by the help of online backers.

Under the hashtag #RefuelCaterhamF1, the Formula 1 team has established a crowdfunding campaign with Crowdcube in order to finance their involvement in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend in late November. On the website, Caterham F1 Team is looking to raise £2,350,000 (roughly $3,730,000 in US funds) to place themselves back in the paddock area so they can finish their 2014 Formula 1 effort on-track rather than idled in the Leafield Technical Centre in Oxfordshire.

Asking for as little as one pound, the team's crowdfunding page is offering an intriguing selection of items for contributions at certain levels. With small trinkets like branded earplugs offered at a £6 amount, larger investments into the Caterham F1 Team garners race-used items or other perks. Rear wing, nose cones, carbon fiber brake discs, wheel lug nuts and even a Formula 1 steering wheel are some of the pieces offered from the Caterham Formula 1 cars from the past three years. Driver-used equipment to be used in Abu Dhabi Grand Prix such as race gloves and boots are also part of crowdfunding effort. For £2,000, £5.000 and £10,000 amounts, companies or individuals could have their logo placed on the current CT05 Caterham-Renault race car. To simply have your name printed on the race car, there are 30 £1,000 spots available. Each of the four branding options come with a professionally taken photograph as confirmation for the contributor.

This crowdfunding campaign is offering a fairly irregular opportunity to acquire authentic Formula 1 items and it appears Caterham F1 Team has a chance of making Abu Dhabi through the funds for those pieces. With a little less than 5 days and 15 hours remaining in the Refuel Caterham F1 campaign, the effort has reached 29 percent of its funding goal. Raising £696,992 of the £2,350,500 goal from a total of 1,667 backers, some of the limited availability funding souvenirs have already been claimed. A £5,500 nose cone from a 2012 race car has already been sold out as has a rear wing from the 2013 vehicle. Of the 100 £275 carbon fiber brake discs available, 93 have been claimed by contributors on Crowdcube. What remains can still be an attractive gift for the Formula 1 fan ahead of the holiday season.

Formula 1 race team funding is becoming a troubling issue in the final stage of the 2014 season requiring some debate heading into the off-season. However, if the Caterham F1 Team reaches their funding goal by sometime this Friday, there may be two more cars on the grid for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix finale.  

No comments:

Post a Comment