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F1 promoter files suit against track investors

It's another bump in the road for Formula One racing in Austin.

Tavo Hellmund, the initial promoter behind bringing F1 racing to Austin, has sued track investors Red McCombs and Bobby Epstein along with several other companies and managers. The civil suit, filed in Travis County State District Court, does not request specific damages but does detail Hellmund's buyout of $18 million, which was never fulfilled. The agreement also called for Circuit of the Americas to pay Hellmund $500,000 a year for a period of 10 years as the chairman of the F1 U.S. Grand Prix.

In a media statement, Circuit of the Americas management says that Hellmund is trying to create a negative media blitz. "This is just the latest step in a pattern of behavior. Mr. Hellmund uses negative press to try and create an advantage for himself at every turn. The fact is, he has been found to be in breach of contract by Formula 1 and he has not fulfilled his agreements with Circuit of The Americas.”

The legal battle is the latest in a series of missteps for the F1 project. The project was originally guaranteed state funding of $25 million per year from the state's Major Events Trust Fund; however, following intense political pressure, Comptroller Susan Combs backtracked and said funds would only be released after a race was successfully completed. Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone threatened to pull the Austin race from the F1 calendar because of a contract dispute, which caused construction on the $300 million track to come to a halt at the track site near Elroy, before coming to an agreement and assigning a race date of November 18, 2012.

Tags :  
Locations : Austin
People : Bernie EcclestoneBobby EpsteinRed McCombsSusan CombsTavo Hellmund

03/04/2012 3:57PM
F1 promoter files suit against track investors
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