Jordan holds China talks

Flamboyant team boss Eddie Jordan has returned from a 24-hour trip to Beijing in China after holding talks with potential buyers for his Formula 1 team, as the outfit gears up to secure its future in the next 10 days

Jordan holds China talks

With the team closing in on a deal to secure a supply of Toyota customer engines next year, Jordan has been working hard behind the scenes to find potential investors to boost the outfit's financial situation.

Part of those plans included his trip to Beijing, where he met with Guo Jie, the president of a Beijing-based property development company who is heading a group of Chinese businessman considering an involvement in F1. It is believed that a possible deal could lead to the Jordan outfit being renamed Team China.

Speaking to Chinese newspapers on Thursday, Guo's official spokesman said that the group was seriously interested in a deal with Jordan after an offer to buy Jaguar was rejected.

Luo Jifu said: "We have been toying with the idea (of buying an F1 team) early this year but it wasn't until the huge success of the Chinese Grand Prix that we seriously pursued the idea. Looking at the huge commercial interest generated in Shanghai, we realised that a Formula 1 team backed by China could also enjoy business success."

Luo confirmed that the company had seriously considered a deal with Jaguar, but its overtures were turned down by the team's parent company.

"Ford insisted on including Cosworth Racing, their racing engine subsidiary, in the deal," said Luo. "So we shifted our focus on Jordan, who are more accessible and hopefully will be cheaper as well."

The Chinese bid is believed to not be the only one considering buying into Jordan, however, with F3000 team boss Christian Horner also said to be looking at taking over the team.

An exclusive report in this week's Autosport magazine claims that Horner has backing from venture capitalists willing to fund the deal - although there is also the possibility that the Horner and Chinese bids could be merged.

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