19 June 2015
Andretti subsidiary suing NOLA - report
An Andretti Sports Marketing subsidiary has reportedly filed a federal lawsuit against NOLA Motorsports Park for non-payment of services.
The future of the newly-minted Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana may be in the balance following reports that a subsidiary of race event organisers Andretti Sports Marketing has filed a federal lawsuit against the non-profit entity behind the NOLA Motorsports race.
According to the The New Orleans Advocate, the track overspent on circuit upgrades leaving too little funding to pay off multiple vendors, including the race organisers who also promote the the Milwaukee IndyFest, which is held on July 12.
Andretti signed a three-year contract to organise the NOLA race, beginning with the rain-hit inaugural event in April. According to the lawsuit, the agreement said only $2.6m of the $4.5m state-provided funding would be used on track upgrades to get the venue up to specification, with Andretti adding that it had been assured there would be enough money left over to pay it for its services.
However the lawsuit claims, $3.4 million of the state grant ended up being spent on the upgrades, leaving insufficient funds to fully compensate Andretti and other suppliers. Andretti says that it is still owed $645,000 and that it has also has not been reimbursed for $206,000 worth of expenses approved by track officials.
The lawsuit adds that the company met with a representative for NOLA Motorsports on April 29 and had been told that "categorically that no further payments under the agreement" and that the non-profit was "nearly insolvent, and that any remaining capital would be used to pay vendors who could potentially place a lien" on the track.
No one from Andretti Sports Marketing was available for comment. A lawyer for the NOLA Motorsports Host Committee said that "We trust that this will have no impact on future racing," adding that a new organiser would be appointed for the 2016 race if the dispute with Andretti couldn't be resolved in the meantime.
Post-Toronto penalties issued
Luca Filippi's #20 CFH Racing entry has been fined $5,000 for violating Rule 14.9.2 of the Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook relating to fuel capacity.
The 29-year-old Italian scored his first series podium position last weekend at the Honda Indy Toronto, while his team mate Josef Newgarden clinched his second win of the 2015 season.
While Newgarden leapt to the lead from 11th place on the grid on the back of a fortuitously timed pit stop, Filippi had more of a slow and steady progression up from his starting position of fifth place. Neither car had appeared to adopt a fuel conservation strategy to achieve the the team 1-2.
In news from the manufacturers standings, Chevrolet received a bonus of ten points for having Simon Pagenaud's engine in the Penske #22 attain its mandated 2,500-mile life cycle. However, Honda has lost 40 points for engines in the #26 and #27 Andretti Autosport entries that did not attain that life cycle before being changed out
Following the adjustments, Chevrolet has 1,003 manufacturer championship points for the season and Honda has 840.
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