According to press rumours, Charles Nickerson's Phoenix Finance operation is scheduled to release further information regarding a possible Formula One entry later today [Friday].

Nickerson remains the mystery man behind the recent purchase of various assets from the Prost team, although debate continues to rage over whether he can actually enter a team based on the French operations 'right to compete'.

The deal in which Nickerson acquired the AP04 and AP05 cars, plus assorted other items of plant and machinery, surfaced during the Australian Grand Prix weekend, leading to a war of words between Minardi boss Paul Stoddart, who paid off over ?20million worth of debt to save the Italian team, and Tom Walkinshaw, whose TWR engineering concern will provide back-up to Nickerson's plans.

Although an announcement from the French liquidator appointed to oversee the sale of Prost appeared to confirm that Nickerson - a former touring car team-mate of Walkinshaw's - could enter his team this season, neither the FIA or F1 overseer Bernie Ecclestone appear to agree - and Stoddart has already threatened legal action against any new team rising from the ashes of Prost.

Now, however, Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper confirms that Nickerson, who obtained his wealth from agriculture and property businesses set up with a trust fund left by his father, is due to release further details of his Formula One plans following a whirlwind tour of possible backers and those in power in the sport.

The newspaper also claims that Nickerson has a series of meeting with Ecclestone prior to obtaining the Prost assets, making it inconceivable that he would have made the purchase without a hope of running in this year's championship. Walkinshaw has intimated that the team could be on the grid by Interlagos - and Ecclestone was only quoted by the Times as saying that it would not have a hope of entering the Malaysian GP.

Stoddart's ire may be appeased by the fact that Nickerson appears to have relinquished any claim on Prost's financial income from the 2001 championship by not fielding a team in Melbourne.


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