Giedo van der Garde wins court case in Australia

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Dutch driver Giedo van der Garde has won his court case in the Supreme Court of Victoria, whereby legally he would be bound to race for Sauber in the season opening Australian Grand Prix.

He was the team’s reserve driver last year, but was left off the driving roster this year. He has since pursued legal action.

The ruling came down today from the Court, via Justice Clyde Croft. Official notice is posted below, and the judgment from the court is linked here:

Melbourne 7 court reporter Kate Jones has also provided a few updates of the case, and how the ruling came down:

Van der Garde told veteran F1 journalist Adam Cooper, via his blog:  “It’s up to them what they are going to do, and up to the team. It’s not my thing. I’m happy that we won the case, and that we stand here. Now I’m looking forward to getting back to business.”

Sauber has now weighed in with a statement from team principal Monisha Kaltenborn, with a note that further details will be published at a later date.

“After the application defended by Sauber on Monday, March 9, the outcome is unfortunately not as expected. Monisha Kaltenborn, CEO and Team Principal of the Sauber F1 Team, said: “We are disappointed with this decision and now need to take time to understand what it means and the impact it will have on the start of our season. What we cannot do is jeopardise the safety of our team, or any other driver on the track, by having an unprepared driver in a car that has now been tailored to our two other assigned drivers.”

https://twitter.com/diegofmejia/status/575447111338164225/photo/1

With this ruling, van der Garde would be set to replace either Marcus Ericsson or Felipe Nasr, who are scheduled to drive this weekend. However, Sauber has appealed, and that will be heard Thursday.

Either driver though could take legal action of their own from here as well.

Per van der Garde’s portion of the contract, the Dutchman would have to uphold it and supply the backing promised to the team.

Clearly this ruling is only the first step in what will be a series of events still to unfold both legally and for the team the rest of this weekend in Australia.

More to follow…

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”