Crash.Net F1 News
Hellmund launches Austin legal action
4 March 2012
Former promoter Tavo Hellmund has launched legal action against investors in the US Grand Prix, due to be held at the new Circuit of the Americas later this year.
Hellmund was the face of the project was first announced, but he then stepped back from his role when a dispute with Bernie Ecclestone last year over the terms of the contract in place threatened to end the plans.
It has now emerged however that Hellmund – and his Full Throttle Productions company – has filed a lawsuit against investors Bobby Epstein and Red McCombs, as well other companies involved in the event.
A report in the Austin Statesman
states that the suit filed by Hellmund doesn't specify damages, but makes mention of a buyout fee that hasn't been fulfilled and a fee of $500,000 per year that Hellmund was due to receive for the next ten years.
"With the relief requested herein — namely, access to the Company's books and records and declaration that he cannot be removed as a manager — Hellmund hopes to steer the now-teetering Circuit back on track and determine how best to proceed, if at all, to acquire Epstein's remaining interest in the company," the 'paper quotes the lawsuit as saying.
While Hellmund's laywers insist he is still the chairman of the race, Epstein and the venue were quick to disagree.
"This is just a latest step in a pattern of behaviour,” a statement from the circuit said. “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."