Motor racing-HRT cars sold to Spanish recycling firm and Pirelli

LONDON Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:42pm IST

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LONDON Feb 15 (Reuters) - A Spanish auto breaker and parts recycler has bought five cars raced by the defunct HRT Formula One team while another chassis has gone to tyremaker Pirelli, the businessman who acquired them said on Friday.

Teo Martin, owner of the Madrid-based auto-recycling company that bears his name, told Reuters by telephone that he had bought most of the material assets of the failed Spanish-based team.

He said the direct sale included three 2012 cars raced by Indian Narain Karthikeyan and Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa, minus the Cosworth engines and Williams gearboxes which have been returned to those companies.

A Cosworth spokesman confirmed the engines had been recovered by them.

Teo Martin said he also had two 2011 cars, one complete, and a scale model of the 2012 car as well as most of the garage equipment.

"The other 2011 car has gone to Pirelli," he said.

There was no immediate confirmation from the Italian company, who have been using a 2010 Renault car for their most recent private tyre testing after entering the sport as sole supplier in 2011. They had previously used a 2009 Toyota.

The Spaniard, whose company posted a photograph of one of the cars on the Twitter feed @DesguacesTeo, would not reveal how much he had paid for the cars but said he intended to sell them on to any interested parties.

HRT failed to score a point in three years in Formula One and missed a November deadline to pay entry fees of $500,000 for this season.

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone told Reuters in December that he understood HRT had gone into liquidation, after owners Thesan Capital had put the team up for sale that same month.

However Formtech Composites, one of the team's suppliers owed a "substantial" amount of money, said in a statement in December that they believed the ownership of the team had been transferred to a Luxembourg-registered fund.

De la Rosa has now moved to Ferrari as a test driver helping compatriot Fernando Alonso while Karthikeyan is still exploring his options.

Despite the apparent demise of HRT, media reports last month claimed a group of Canadian and American investors were trying to revive the team and secure an entry slot using the 2012 cars with Cosworth engines and Williams gearboxes. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by John Mehaffey)

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