Author: Oli Rushby Posted: 27 Jul 2015
Stefan Bradl and Loris Baz will be forced to sit out of next month’s Indianapolis Grand Prix after the arrest of Forward Racing team owner Giovanni Cuzari.
It is alleged he made a number of payments to a senior tax inspector in return for favourable taxation for one of his companies, Media Action. The tax inspector, Libero Galli, has also been arrested and both party’s assets have been frozen.
It is there where the problem lies for the Forward Racing team, with all the outfit’s bank accounts in Cuzari’s name the staff cannot access any of the necessary funds to fulfill the trip to Indianapolis – this comes despite their Open-spec Yamaha M1s already having arrived in America.
The team had initially sought help from IRTA (International Road Racing Teams Association) and Dorna to be present in Indianapolis but it has since been decided that it would be best to miss the flyaway in order to be back on the grid when the series returns to Europe a week later at Brno.
“In the aftermath of the arrest and the charges against Giovanni Cuzari, director and owner of Forward Racing, the Team, through its closest collaborators, has returned to work immediately to stem the possible consequences of this situation, in order to continue its sport activity and to end the current season, following also the desire of Giovanni.
“Unfortunately, the reaction of the sponsors, the main source of income of an independent team, was immediate and resolute. Inevitably some of them canceled the existing contracts and interrupted payments, creating further financial troubles that could jeopardize completely the surviving of the Team.
“The activity of these last days was therefore focused on rebuilding sponsor relationships, the Team was able to reach a consensus to regain some vital economic aid to cover the costs of the upcoming races. New processes of collection and payment were activated, the economic admin was rebuilt and new operational modalities were agreed with the Public Prosecutor of Lugano (Procura di Lugano).
“The concrete possibility to start again and the hope to protect the interests of our riders, engineers, contractors and suppliers, led us to agree with IRTA, the International Racing Teams Association, not to deploy our riders at the start of the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix on August 9th, in order to gather all the resources and to better organize the upcoming trips.
“This painful decision was necessary in order to try to ensure our participation to the World Championship until the end of the season. The work of the team will continue with the aim to get back on track at Brno for the bwin Grand Prix Ceske republiky scheduled on August 16th.”