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iSport seeking to sell cars, exit series

iSport is seeking to sell its GP2 assets and will not be taking part in the 2013 in its current form, according to reports circulating late on Friday.
The iSport team looks to be dropping out of the 2013 GP2 Series, with team principal Paul Jackson quoted as confirming that the team's financial situation does not allow it to participate in the feeder series this year.

"We will not be able to," Jackson said, explaining that the downturn in the economic climate affecting sponsorship was to blame. "This is a trend that can be seen at the moment in all Formula series."

According to reports that first appeared in specialist German motorsports site Motorsport-Total.com late on Friday afternoon, iSport is seeking to sell its GP2 assets to an interested third party in the hope that the core of the team might be able to continue racing under new ownership.

Talks reportedly began on Thursday afternoon. However, with pre-season testing due to start next week at Jerez followed by a second three-day session at Catalunya the following week, time is tight for any rescue operation that will allow a newly constituted team to field any teams and drivers at the first race of the 2013 season calendar in Malaysia on March 24.

What seems certain is that the iSport team in its current incarnation with Jackson at the helm will not be participating. Jackson confirmed that GP2 CEO Bruno Michel was aware of iSport's current financial plight and was supportive of the team's current efforts to sell its assets and transfer its series membership to a new company.

The situation seemingly came to a head when Jackson was unable to land any pay drivers for the forthcoming season with sufficient backing to make a two-car 2013 campaign viable. Industry sources suggest that GP2 teams need drivers with sponsorship in the region of 1.8million euros to cover their full season expenditure.

"We did not find drivers to negotiate contracts with that would have enabled us to ensure participation," Jackson told the website. "My company has no sponsors in the background that can close a shortfall of 500,000 euros," he added.

Jackson explained that iSport is currently solvent and has no outstanding debts, and that he has enough funds to keep going in the short term. However, the balance sheets are not enough to cover a full season's participation in GP2 and therefore Jackson said that it would be irresponsible of him to continue with preparations for racing only to risk going bust mid-season.

"There is no point in committing commercial suicide," he said, adding that he and the team had investigated all possible solutions to try and continue competing.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, iSport International). [World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.]
Marcus Ericsson (SWE, iSport International) on Friday at Valencia in Spain. June 22 2012. (Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, iSport International) celebrates his first GP2 victory. [Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.
Marcus Ericsson (SWE, iSport International) at Marina Bay Circuit, Singapore. 23rd September 2012. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, iSport International). [World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.]
Simon Trummer (SUI, Rapax), leads Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) & Julian Leal (COL, Carlin) at the start of Race 2 at Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday 6 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), 1st, Simon Trummer (SUI, Rapax), 2nd, & Julian Leal (COL, Carlin), 3rd, take the chequered flag at the end of Race 2 at Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday 6 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), celebrates his win in parc ferme after Race 2 at Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday 6 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), celebrates his win with his mechanics after Race 2 at Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday 6 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jolyon Palmer, Simon Trummer and Julian Leal celebrate on the podium after Race 2 at Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday 6 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), receives his 3rd place trophy after Race 1 at Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday 5 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), is interviewed on the podium after Race 1 at Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday 5 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), is interviewed on the podium after Race 1 at Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday 5 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) after Race 1 at Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday 5 April 2014. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/LAT Photographic.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), walks to the podium after Race 1 at Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday 5 April 2014. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/LAT Photographic.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix), 1st, Julian Leal (COL, Carlin), 2nd, & Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), 3rd after Race 1 at Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday 5 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix), 1st, Julian Leal (COL, Carlin), 2nd, & Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), 3rd after Race 1 at Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday 5 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) during qualifying at Bahrain International Circuit on Friday 4 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)

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Jay - Unregistered

February 22, 2013 9:44 PM

Motorsport at this level would almost be better off calling itself an amateur sport and seeking lottery funding ! It's the old Premier league / Football League arguement. The Premier league (F1) generates all the cash,and the lower formulae live off scraps.But it's the lower formulae that develop the drivers. In other words,as purely a short term measure until a better solution ican be found,more cash has to be distributed down from the company that rakes in all that tv revenue. But short term greed will always outweigh the long term benefits to motorsport. Either way,it's pathetic that a team with the expertise of ISport has to scratch around for 500,000 Euros,which is loose change in F1. And,yes,I do realise we're in a recession and any business is subject to market forces. But try pitching an idea in Dragon's Den where you hope to build a business around finding a couple of pay drivers each year. It's just ridiculous. And how depressing is all this to some young guy or gal in the ju



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