Stoddart set to run Cosworths

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart says his team is almost certain to run with Cosworth engines next year thanks to an imminent sale of the engine specialists by parent company Ford, autosport.com can reveal

Stoddart set to run Cosworths

Although Stoddart has had a contract with Cosworth in place for several weeks, the future of the deal had been in doubt ever since the Northampton-based engine builder was put up for sale. Had a buyer not been found, then Cosworth would have been shut down and Stoddart would have been forced to build his own engines.

But with a sale to Champ Car series co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven believed to be already agreed in principle, and an announcement possible as soon as next week, it now looks certain Minardi's original contract will be honoured.

When asked by autosport.com about what engines Minardi will run in 2005, Stoddart said: "I think I know, but I am not in a position to tell you.

"I cannot tell you because it is not signed, because the Cosworth deal is not signed. But the Cosworth deal, I believe, is 90-something per cent there, which means I am now 90-something per cent there. I am pretty sure I will be running Cosworth."

Minardi has already lodged its 2005 entry with the FIA, and both Stoddart and fellow team boss Eddie Jordan made their full commitment to race next year at Tuesday's team bosses meeting at Heathrow.

Their commitment, amid growing speculation that Jaguar will actually be sold to Red Bull, means it is now likely that next season will kick off with 10 teams.

McLaren boss Ron Dennis said: "They [Minardi and Jordan] have told us they are entering the world championship, so after they have entered the world championship one assumes they will be at all the grands prix."

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