The Champ Car World Series filed suit in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana today, alleging breech of contract, and seeking $325,000 from two of Normand Legault's promotional companies for unpaid sanctioning fees associated with the 2005 Molson Indy Montreal.
According to the suit, Legault’s companies each agreed to pay Champ Car $1.5 million for the right to stage the 2005 and 2006 Champ Car races at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve; in twin installments of $750,000, due 45 and seven days before the race. In addition to staging the actual races, Champ Car was responsible for securing a minimum of $325,000 in sponsorship each year from series sponsors Ford and Bridgestone, with the money paid to Legault’s companies at least 30 days prior to the race. In the event that Champ Car failed to deliver that sponsorship, Legault's companies could deduct the unpaid amount from the sanctioning fee they paid to Champ Car, until the sponsorship was paid.
Champ Car contends that Ford was prepared to pay more than $325,000 in sponsorship to Legault's companies, more than 30 days before the 2005 race, but that Legault's companies failed to sign the necessary contracts or invoice Ford in a timely fashion. Thus, Champ Car says, the payment was not made within the 30-day pre-race timeframe, prompting the promoter to withhold $325,000 of its final $750,000 sanctioning fee payment to Champ Car.
While admitting that Ford's sponsorship money was not delivered within the 30-day period specified in the contract, Champ Car says it is still entitled to the additional $325,000. The suit requests a trial by jury.
Legault holds the exclusive promotional rights for two annual race weekends at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and plans to replace Champ Car with a NASCAR Busch Series race next season.