A con-man posing as former grand prix driver and television commentator Jonathan Palmer has been remanded in custody after investigations by Interpol led to his arrest in France.


Jonathan Kern apparently duped bosses at Lotus into lending him a twin-turbo Esprit for a magazine article he claimed to be writing, before telephoning them to say it had been stolen while at the Belgian Grand Prix. With the sportscar company thrown off the scent, he then drove the car on a 6000 mile jaunt around Europe, running up bills, obtaining luxury goods and using prostitutes using the name of the former Tyrrell and Zakspeed driver. He had, however, been using Palmer's identity for some time before the latest scam.


"I'm fed up with this man," said the real Jonathan Palmer, "There is clearly something wrong with him. He first came to my notice in 1990, when Jackie Stewart told me that someone was going around France driving a BMW cabriolet and saying he was me. But, if he is now in court, maybe it will draw a veil over it all."


A fully-armed team of French gendarmes finally caught up with Kern in Nice, after a Lotus employee spotted the missing car in Spain just days before it was reported stolen from Belgium, and sparked off a fresh train of enquiry at Europe's intelligence agency.

 

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