IndyCar Series Files Lawsuit Seeking Seven-Figure Fee From Brazilian Race Promoter
The IndyCar Series has "filed a lawsuit" against Radio e Televisao Bandeirantes Ltda., the promoter of an IndyCar race in São Paulo, Brazil, "seeking to recover a seven-figure sanctioning fee that was due this summer," according to Anthony Schoettle of the INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. The case was "transferred Dec. 12 from Marion Superior Court to a federal court in Indianapolis." Despite "troubles with the promoter," IndyCar officials have not given up on returning the series to Brazil. Though the lawsuit does not "reveal how much IndyCar is seeking and series officials are not commenting," a source said that IndyCar is seeking just under $10M for the annual sanctioning fee. The São Paulo race brings in about $2M in annual profit for the IndyCar Series and "would be a painful loss for the open-wheel circuit," which has not yet turned a profit in its 18-year existence. IndyCar officials signed a deal with Radio e Televisao Bandeirantes in '09 to "hold the race in Sao Paulo" through '14. That deal, "the lawsuit says, was later extended" through '19. While the race "seemed to be a significant moneymaker for IndyCar," motorsports analyst Derek Daly "doubts the race was making much money for the promoter." Radio e Televisao Bandeirantes officials "did not return calls seeking comment" (INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 12/21).