Jordan to get Toyota and Briscoe

UPDATE #5 According to Ian Phillips, the team's Director of Commercial Affairs, Jordan's search for an engine supplier is over as they're on the verge of concluding an engine deal with Toyota. "We are very close but there's still quite a lot of paperwork to do and stuff like that," Phillips told Reuters. "It's going to be a couple of weeks before it's all absolutely certain. But we are very, very hopeful now that we've got the elements in place." According to The Guardian newspaper, Jordan may have to sign Toyota's test driver Ryan Briscoe in return for Toyota supplying them with engines for less than the £5.5m fee Cosworth charged in 2004. 11/10/04 According to Autosport, Jordan is now only days away from announcing an engine and financial package which should guarantee the future of the team. Deals to secure a cost-only Toyota engine supply for $7 million (£4m) per season and the backing of a major Chinese consortium are on the verge of being finalized. This could mean a move for 2004 Toyota test driver Ryan Briscoe to Jordan as a race driver, although this is not thought to be a condition of the engine-supply agreement. Sources suggest Toyota was keen to agree the deal as the 2005 long-life engine regulations would otherwise have required it to build fewer motors and might therefore have led to staff lay-offs. Jordan insiders say the mood at the team’s Silverstone HQ has changed dramatically in recent weeks from one of despair to cautious optimism for 2005. A source said: “If we’ve got budget, decent engines and a car designed by Mark Smith [Jordan’s newly appointed technical director] we should be in pretty good shape." Autosport understands that a number of other parties are involved in the 2005 package, including Christian Horner, boss of Formula 3000 championship winning team Arden International. 11/04/04 According to English.Eastday Eddie Jordan flew to Beijing earlier this week to meet with potential Chinese buyers. Jordan met with Guo Jie, the President of Huabin Group who specialize in property development. Following the talks, Jordan returned to the UK while Marketing Director Mike Hall-Taylor remained in China. "We have been toying with the idea this year but it wasn't until the huge success of the Chinese Grand Prix that we seriously pursued the idea," stated a Huabin spokesman. “Looking at the huge commercial interest generated in Shanghai, we realized that a Formula One team backed by China could also enjoy business success." 10/29/04 This article adds, Eddie Jordan is close to a deal with Toyota for a supply of engine for his team but it looks like the deal will include a number of other changes, including the arrival in the team of a new owner in the form of a mysterious businessman from China, whom we have yet to identify. It seems that in addition Arden International's Christian Horner will come in and run the team. It is not clear exactly how the deal will work but with a Toyota engine and a Mark Smith-designed chassis (Smith having joined Jordan recently from Renault) the team has a fighting chance of some good results even if the arrangements are going to be very late in the day and there will be pressure on the team to get a car out in time for the new season. The deal will almost certainly involve Australian Toyota nominee Ryan Briscoe and if Horner is involved we would expect him to try to get Formula 3000 Vitantonio Liuzzi into the team, unless the Italian gets a better offer from another team. The exact details of the deal that is coming together are not clear but it may involve some technology transfer from Toyota, which would speed up Jordan's tasks in the months ahead. The deal needs to be in place before the November 15 deadline for entries for next year. 10/28/04 According to this Guardian article, The future of the Jordan Formula One team has almost certainly been secured by a deal to use Toyota engines in the 2005 world championship. It is expected that Toyota's 23-year-old test driver Ryan Briscoe will pilot one of the new Jordan EJ-15s next season, but the team have not settled on a second driver. "Things are looking much more optimistic and we are now 99% certain that we will be on the grid for the Australian grand prix at Melbourne next March," said Ian Phillips, Jordan's commercial director. "It has been a nerve-racking past few weeks but we're now looking forward to the future."

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