Hellmund sues Austin GP partners

Hellmund and Ecclestone

4 March 2012 by Ryan Wood

The Circuit of the Americas has hit yet another speed bump on its journey to host Formula 1 this season, after it has become apparent that founder, Tavo Hellmund, has launched a legal suit against the circuit's partners.

The suit isn't expected to delay the construction of the track, nor stop the race from happening, but it does further complicate matters.

Hellmund, the man who agreed the original deal to bring F1 to Austin with his good friend Bernie Ecclestone, claims he is owed $18 million (£11.3m) after agreeing to be bought out of the project by partners Red McCombs and Bobby Epstein.

Hellmund claims the payment hasn't been made and therefore he remains a manager and partner of the project, with his 20%+ share of the project remaining intact.

Epstein claims Hellmund breached his contract with FOM, which was then cancelled, therefore ending his rights to the race. A late deal by Epstein, McCombs and co. rescued the event.

"This is just a latest step in a pattern of behavior. Mr. Hellmund uses negative press to try and create an advantage for himself at every turn. The fact is, he has been found to be in breach of contract by Formula 1 and he has not fulfilled his agreements," said Epstein.

The suit asks for an open inspection of the COTA books and unspecified damages, among others things.