Arena International Motorsport have been removed from the ‘to-strike-off’ list of UK companies, but the team’s HQ has also been changed from their Littlehampton workshop to a business services firm headquartered in London.
The British team, which after 12 years on-and-off in the British Touring Car Championship, moved to the FIA World Touring Car Championship last season with a two car effort for Tom Chilton and James Nash, ceased operations over Christmas whilst owner Grahame Chilton and Team Principal Mike Earle seeks a viable way for the team to continue in 2013.
The team’s effort in 2012 was largely independent, though the team did receive technical support from the Ford Motor Company. Ford also commissioned the development of the team’s 1.6 litre turbocharged Global Racing Engine by engine R&D experts Mountune Racing, which was also used in the China Touring Car Championship. The aspiration was for Ford to join as a full-fledged manufacturer from 2013, but economic conditions precluded that possibility, and Ford have withdrawn all support.
The team was on Companies House’s list of companies to be stricken off as a non-trading company earlier this month, but Arena has now been removed from this list. The team’s registered office has also been changed from its Littlehampton base to business services firm Smith & Williamson, based in London.
The team was sold by Team Principal Mike Earle to Grahame Chilton two years ago, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Capsicum Motorsport Group, which are also producing the limited edition run Ford Focus WTCC road car, run a race simulator firm in Surrey and also own the Carlin single-seater racing team which competes in GP2 and Formula 3.
TouringCarTimes understands that the team’s cars could still be seen on the grid in 2013 with another team should Arena not continue this season, or not enter all of their three cars.
The team’s third car was a test car completed mid-season which remained in the UK whilst the other two cars were shipped abroad for the flyaway portion of the season.