Honda F1 website

APRIL 9, 2005

Australian GP folk getting in a mess

The Australian Grand Prix Corporation is getting itself into a knot over the question of a drink-drive charge against one of its senior executives and the local press in Melbourne is in hot pursuit, smelling blood. AGPC chairman Ron Walker says that neither he nor his chief executive Tim Bamford knew about the episode until two or three weeks ago. However Bamford had earlier said that he was aware of the problem when Jonathan Caughey's licence was suspended. Caughey is just getting his licence back and the local media has worked out that this means that the incident happened about a year ago, as a licence suspension of this nature is 10 months. They have also worked out that this was at about the same time that Caughey was promoted to his current job. This means that either Bamford did not inform his chairman of the problem - which could result in the race losing its sponsorship from the Transport Accident Commission or that Walker has forgotten that he was informed.

The TAC recently withdrew its sponsorship from the Richmond Football Club after one of its players was caught drink-driving. Ironically this is run by Steven Wright, who was Bamford's predecessor as chief executive of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation. The local papers have suggested that things are not entirely fair when footballers find their careers in jeopardy after such adventures while employees of the AGPC (which is spending public money) have their adventures covered up and are promoted.

Ron Walker has some enemies in Melbourne and the current scandal has got them all very excited.