Administrators have revealed Caterham's ambitious crowdfunding scheme has attracted a potential new buyer for the struggling Formula 1 team.
The scheme launched on Friday has raised almost half of the proposed £2.35 Million ($4.3 Million AUD) target required to fund the team's entry into the final round of the season at Abu Dhabi.
While the scheme has attracted a total of £1,089,989 in pledges from more than 2,500 supporters, administrators Smith and Williamson say the added exposure received has attracted a potential new buyer for the Leafield outfit.
“Everyone involved is incredibly grateful and excited to have raised over £1m of support in less than 48 hours,” said administrator Finbarr O'Connell.
“The Caterham F1 Team is almost halfway to its funding target.
“I am not packing my toothbrush as yet though and there is still a lot of fundraising to be done by the team.
“However, it is clear that this campaign is becoming international and I have been contacted by media organisations from all over the world since Friday.
“Most importantly, a new financially sound interested party has entered the arena and is considering acquiring the team. This new interest is wholly due to this campaign.”
Caterham's decision to launch a crowdfunding scheme has attracted criticism from F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, who described the project as a “disaster” over the weekend.
“We don't want begging bowls. If people can't afford to be in Formula 1, they have to find something else to do,” said Ecclestone.
“If I sit in a poker game and I can't afford to be there with the other people, I get killed and have to leave.”
In response to Ecclestone's comments, O'Connell has reiterated that the team's crowdfunding scheme is not aimed at securing the outfit's long-term financial footing, but a mere steeping stone towards it.
“There has been some confusion with regard to the purpose of the Crowdfunding Project,” added O'Connell.
“Clearly, the plan is not to run a F1 team by using Crowdfunding but rather this funding is providing a stepping stone for the Team to a new financially sound future.
“If teams don't race they are at a huge disadvantage as regards a potential purchaser making a very expensive purchase decision and this Project gives the Team the ability to showcase itself and especially its cars.
“We are working non-stop to get the Caterham F1 Team back racing and one of our most useful, innovative and effective options right now is Crowdfunding.
“We want to get as many sponsors and fans as possible involved this week and make our comeback something we can all be part of and proud of.
“This team deserves a future and I know that there are plenty of fans and companies out there that agree with us.”