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Jordan offered Toyota engines

Nick Mulvenney | November 15, 2004 16:59 IST

Toyota cleared the way for Jordan to compete in Formula One next season by agreeing to supply the troubled team with engines at "an affordable price".

Jordan, fighting for survival after their previous engine supplier Ford pulled out of the sport, had said on Friday they would sign up for the 2005 championship before Monday's entry deadline.

"Toyota are to be commended," team boss Eddie Jordan said in a statement on Monday.

"Not only have they been fantastic to Jordan by agreeing this deal at short notice but they have also done the magnanimous thing for the sport by putting Formula One above their own exclusivity."

Toyota have not supplied engines to another team since joining the sport three years ago. Ford put its Jaguar team and Cosworth engine maker up for sale in September.

"The last-minute nature of this agreement will offer us a real challenge for the upcoming season, but it is one which we are happy to take on," Toyota's head of motorsport Tsutomu Tomita said.

"We are pleased to be able to offer our services to help another team, given the difficulties that Formula One is currently facing, particularly with engine supply."

Jordan have won three Grands Prix in 14 years of Formula One racing. They finished ninth out of 10 teams last season.

The statements from both sides said the engines would be supplied "at an affordable price", which is good news for a Jordan team which was suffering financial problems even before Ford decided to pull out of Formula One.

"A supply of Toyota engines is an enormous boost for Jordan and I am very excited about putting together our 2005 package in the coming weeks and months," Irishman Jordan continued.

"This announcement, along with others coming shortly, will revive the fortunes of Jordan Grand Prix."

Austrian drinks maker Red Bull confirmed on Monday it had bought Jaguar and it now looks likely that 10 teams will again be on the grid next season.

That means no teams will be obliged to run three cars to make up the numbers as required by the "Concorde Agreement" governing the sport if fewer than 20 cars are entered.

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