Ganassi team takes Palou to court over contract wrangle

Alex Palou

Chip Ganassi Racing has filed a lawsuit against wantaway IndyCar champion Alex Palou.

The Spaniard was at the centre of explosive developments earlier this month when Ganassi announced that it had exercised its options on his services for 2023, only for Palou himself to refute the press release.

Then, McLaren Racing claimed to have signed him for a Formula 1 testing programme and unspecified racing, only for his current employer to reiterate its position with a brief statement to media.

Palou has remained in the #10 Honda for the two races since, albeit with newly restricted access to data, but his medium-term future remains unresolved.

Ganassi has now moved to sue the driver and what is said to be his “racing entity”, with Palou himself and ‘ALPA Racing’ named as defendants in documents filed on Monday (local time) with Marion County Superior Court in Indiana.

It has asked for much of the court filing to be sealed for reasons of commercial confidence, including the motion for preliminary injunction and four of the seven exhibits of evidence.

According to said filing, it “contains confidential business information including, but not limited to, sensitive information that concerns — and is deemed confidential by — the parties’ contractual agreements.”

The three exhibits which are unsealed are Palou’s Twitter thread refuting the original Ganassi release, McLaren’s tweet announcing his signing, and McLaren’s press release.

Ganassi has requested expedited discovery such that a hearing on its motion for preliminary injunction be held before the end of August.

In a statement issued to media, the powerhouse IndyCar team indicated that Palou would continue to race for it for the time being.

“Alex Palou is under contract with Chip Ganassi Racing through the end of the 2023 season,” read that statement.

“He is a valued member of our team, and we will continue to support him in chasing wins, podiums, and IndyCar championships.

“As the result of a competing racing team improperly attempting to contract with him notwithstanding the clear terms of our contract, we are proceeding to legal process pursuant to the contract.

“Any and all inquiries on the matter will be handled by our legal counsel.”

The IndyCar Series continues this weekend with a road course race at Indianapolis, which can be seen live and ad-free on Stan Sport.

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