OCTOBER 13, 2009
The trials of A1GP
A1GP boss Tony Teixeira has won a court case to win the release of the cars that have been held since the end of the last A1GP season by a freight company that is claiming it is owed $2m. Delivered On Time (DOT) was holding the cars in lieu of payment.
After the A1GP operating company went out of business in July things became complicated. The operating company was placed in liquidation by the British courts and official liquidator Griffins got a court order to stop DOT selling the machinery. Teixeira's A1GP Holdings, the British Virgin Islands-registered parent company of the defunct operations company, also claimed the cars, arguing that it owned them and that they were not assets of the subsidiary.
Ferrari probably also has some claim, as the engines are believed to be leased from the Italians and do not therefore belong to A1GP. There have been reports for sometime that Ferrari is not happy with the situation as Teixeira allegedly owes it money, not only for the engine supply but also for merchandising rights which he agreed to acquire when he first did the deal. Ferrari is currently making no comment, but Teixeira has recently told an Australian website that he has decided to terminate the merchandising deal, because it is too expensive.
It seems decidedly odd that A1GP would have the power to do that in a Ferrari contract.
If A1GP is still in arrears with Ferrari there is therefore a danger that it is in breach of the Ferrari contract and thus the Italians would probably be entitled to claim its engines back. Teixeira claims that he has found the money to run the championship for the next four years and that being the case all will be well. The creditors can be paid and the championship can go ahead. It remains to be seen whether this is actually what happens.
Teixeira says that he will have 17 cars in Australia.