Italian race car maker has Russian backing

Updated: October 7, 2004, 1:38 PM ET

LONDON -- Italian racing car manufacturer Dallara is planning a return to Formula One in 2006 with Russian backing, Britain's Autosport magazine reported on Thursday.

The magazine said the company, based near Parma, had "substantial" backing from an unnamed Russian-based global corporation and was expected to make an announcement this week.

Dallara was not immediately available for comment.

Autosport said that the backer had also been identified as a possible buyer of Jaguar, up for sale after owners Ford announced they were pulling out at the end of the season, but was expected to go it alone with Dallara.

"The people that were interested in putting money behind Dallara have shown some interest in our situation but they are doing their own thing and entering in 2006," the weekly magazine quoted Jaguar sources as saying.

Dallara was founded in 1972 by Gian Paolo Dallara, a designer of Lamborghini and Maserati road cars, and entered Formula One with the Ford-powered Scuderia Italia team in 1988, staying until 1992.

The team was eighth in the 1989 constructors' championship after Italian Andrea De Cesaris finished third in the Canadian Grand Prix and Alex Caffi was fourth in Monaco.

Dallara has since concentrated on building cars for the junior series and for the American Indy Racing League (IRL), winning the Indy 500 four times in the last six years. The company also worked on Honda's aborted 1998 Formula One project.