Panther Racing filed a lawsuit last week against not only Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, but the IndyCar Series, Document and Packing Brokers, Inc. (the company responsible for the National Guard sponsorship account) and John Mentzer. The basis of the lawsuit is the loss of sponsorship of the Army National Guard on the #4 car which wound up at the #15 car for the 2014 season. The sponsorship was innitially announced in October by Racer’s Robin Miller, but Panther filed an appeal to the Government Accountability Office. The appeal was denied in January.
According to the Associated Press, Panther Racing is accusing IndyCar of breach of contract claiming Panther had the exclusive right to provide The Guard with access to the Fan Village, while Hulman and CO CEO Mark Miles claims that RLL picked up that right when they were awarded the sponsorship. Panther also notes bid-rigging as well as other allegations.
In a statement by RLL Racing yesterday, RLL Racing says that the National Guard’s decision was probably influenced by the fact that the sponsorship with RLL was $5 less than what Panther was asking ($12 million as apposed to $17 million).
Also in RLLs statement was the statement issued to Panther by the GAO saying that in 3 of the 4 criteria for the sponsorship, RLL ranked higher than Panther. Panther alleges that the proposals were influenced by a third party, but the GAO rejected that claim in it’s denial of appeal.
See the report by the GAO here.