IndyCar files lawsuit against Sao Paulo race promoters (UPDATED)

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The IndyCar Series has recently filed a lawsuit against Sao Paulo Indy 300 promoter Grupo Bandeirantes.

Anthony Schoettle of the Indianapolis Business Journal relays word from a source that says the series is seeking just under $10 million for the annual sanctioning feed. IndyCar (going by its legal name of ‘Indy Racing League LLC’) transferred the lawsuit against Bandeirantes on Dec. 12.

Attorneys from law firm Ice Miller LLP have been listed to represent IndyCar in the case, which has one William T. Lawrence named as the judge.

The Sao Paulo Indy 300 ran from 2010 to 2013, but did not make the 2014 IndyCar Series schedule upon release in mid-October. At the time, Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles noted that the Sao Paulo event could still happen.

Schoettle writes that in the lawsuit, Bandeirantes officials told the series that the race could not continue due to planned road work and closures in and around the race circuit. However, IndyCar argues that the promoter was contractually obligated to find another suitable place to race.

Furthermore, the lawsuit claims Sao Paulo mayor Fernando Haddad had stated in a letter to the promoters that while part of the course would be unavailable due to the construction, the race could still be held on an altered or relocated course. Instead, according to the lawsuit, Bandeirantes officials traveled to Indianapolis and said the race could not be held in 2014.

But what is interesting to note from Schoettle’s piece is that IndyCar apparently still desires to return to Brazil despite the suit. This is understandable on the series’ part, considering that the race has attracted a strong following – no doubt bolstered by having the likes of Brazilian IndyCar drivers Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves on the grid.

Depending on how the case goes, perhaps that hope isn’t long gone after all. Again, we’ll keep tabs on the story as it develops further.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.