Lyons still pushing for Suzuka chance

Northern Ireland's Richard Lyons is hoping to get his first taste of a Formula 1 car at Jerez in Spain this week as he pushes for a race seat with Jordan at the Japanese Grand Prix, autosport.com can reveal

Lyons still pushing for Suzuka chance

Further to our exclusive story earlier in the weekend that Lyons is targeting a Jordan drive in Suzuka, his advisor David Kennedy is understood to have held further talks with the team over the Chinese Grand Prix weekend and sources claim there is a chance Lyons could be drafted in for a run at Jerez this week.

Lyons, 24, led the Japanese Formula Nippon championship until hit by two recent non-finishes, but has been the most impressive driver in the series this year and has established a new record for successive pole positions. He always goes well at Suzuka and is keen on the idea of making his grand prix debut on the Japanese track, widely held to be one of the most challenging on the F1 calendar.

Lyons met with a number of F1 teams, including Jordan, on a visit to the Hungarian Grand Prix last month and it is believed that around £300,000 could secure him a Jordan seat at Suzuka. With Giorgio Pantano's contract with the team terminated after Monza and Timo Glock in the car at Shanghai this weekend, Eddie Jordan has confirmed that money is required to secure the second seat alongside Nick Heidfeld for the remaining two races.

Coming straight into F1 would be a tough task for Lyons but both the driver and Kennedy are confident that he would be up to the task and his form in Japan for the DoCoMo Dandelion team appears to support the theory.

To make an impression, however, he would be up against Nick Heidfeld, who has been impressive all season and who outqualified previous team-mates Kimi Raikkonen and Heinz-Harald Frentzen at Suzuka. Heidfeld has also put the rated Pantano firmly into the shade all season at Jordan.

Kennedy is hopeful that a raft of Japanese backers who appreciate Lyons' 2004 Formula Nippon performances can be persuaded to support his F1 graduation. But time is running out for Lyons to be given the green light for Suzuka.

It is understood that agreement must be reached later this week about Lyons, so that he can get the necessary mileage in an F1 car and get himself fully prepared for his possible grand prix debut.

Lyons' chances have certainly not been harmed by Timo Glock's relatively disappointing form in the Chinese Grand Prix. He finished 15th after a spin.

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