The cancellation of what was supposed to be the season finale for the 2003 CART Champ Car World Series could mean that a successful year - on the track at least - ends acrimoniously in court.

The owners of Fontana's California Speedway, 88 Corp - a subsidiary of the powerful International Speedway Corporation [ISC] - has served notice of its intent to reclaim the fees it paid to hold and promote the event, which was axed due to the spread of wildfires throughout the southern part of the state.

According to sportbusiness.com, 88 Corp has filed a complaint against CART with the US District Court in California, claiming 'declaratory relief' amid confirmation that the fires constituted a force majeure as described in official organiser/promoter agreements, which led to the cancellation of the King Taco 500. Should the court side with the circuit, ISC and 88 Corp would be eligible to reclaim most of the $2.5million organisation and rights fee paid to CART.

"Speedway officials held multiple discussions with CART regarding postponing its race, but CART insisted on delaying a decision until closer to the event," explained an official statement issued by ISC, "Speedway officials disagreed with CART's position, as to continue delaying a decision would have put a tremendous burden on fans and competitors, as well as fire safety, medical and security personnel.

"On 28 October, at the request of several government officials including James L Brulte, the Senate Republican Leader of the California State Senate, and the desire to not burden safety and rescue personnel nor endanger employees, guests, volunteers or participants, Speedway officials announced the postponement of the coming weekend's events.

"CART announced the cancellation of the event on 29 October.

"The company hopes the dispute with CART will be resolved quickly."

 

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