Jaguar Racing have announced that HSBC Holdings plc have renewed their sponsorship of 'the cat' until the end of the 2004 season.

HSBC, Jaguar Racing's principal sponsor, began sponsoring what was then Stewart-Ford Grand Prix Team in 1997. Over the last five years, the Group has used the international appeal of Formula One to help achieve worldwide brand recognition and enhance its reputation as one of the leading international financial services organisations.

The sponsorship renewal comes just days before the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on Sunday, 15 July and will enable HSBC to continue to use its involvement in Formula One to develop existing and new business opportunities.

Making the announcement, Sir John Bond, Group Chairman of HSBC Holdings plc, said: "The sponsorship of Formula One through Jaguar Racing offers us unrivalled opportunities to reach not just our 30 million customers but also a global television audience of over 325 million per race weekend."

"As a relative newcomer to Formula One, Jaguar Racing requires long-term commitment from its sponsors to enable the team to succeed. Indeed, as a brand and a business, our aim is to build upon the successful partnership and develop further the diverse range of business possibilities and synergies that the Group enjoys with Ford, Jaguar's owner. We look forward to working with Jaguar Racing and sharing their success."

Bobby Rahal - Chief Executive Officer of Jaguar Racing - added: "We are delighted that HSBC as a global leader of financial services is to continue as principal sponsor of the Jaguar Racing team. HSBC is a committed partner to Jaguar Racing and plays a critical role in support of us achieving our objectives - both on and off the race track. This agreement builds on the long-term business relationship in which the two companies share a number of values and goals such as a passion for excellence and the commitment to leadership. Our joint effort to succeed in Formula One will certainly further strengthen the existing relationship between ourselves."

Dr Wolfgang Reitzle - President of Ford's Premier Automotive Group and Chairman of Jaguar Cars - added: "HSBC is a long-standing business partner of Ford Motor Company and the provider of many financial services ranging from joint insurance projects to vehicle leasing. Over 26% of all HSBC's 75,000 contract hire fleet are derived from the Ford Group and in addition, HSBC is a major banker to Jaguar Cars on the export side of our business that accounts for nearly 70% of our total production. There is a natural fit between HSBC and Jaguar Cars and the continuation of this sponsorship will go quite some way in helping us meet the challenge of taking Jaguar to the forefront of Formula One."

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