GRM v Volvo: No decision

  • 13/12/2016
  • By Bruce Newton
  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

The Federal Court-ordered mediation between Garry Rogers Motorsport and Volvo Car Australia has broken up without a solution being achieved.

However, team owner Garry Rogers described the mediation as a positive step because the two parties were at least in discussion.

“There was a lot of discussions, a lot of options and a lot of this and a lot of that back and forward but no decisions,” Rogers told supercars.com. “But most legal things go that way.

“There were a lot of things proposed and discussed but nothing agreed or not agreed.

“So we will just sit down tonight and have a chat with our legal people and go from there.”

Both Garry Rogers and son Barry attended the session with legal representatives while VCA managing director Kevin McCann attended, also with legal representation.

“It was good that some discussion happened because that hadn’t happened until today,” Rogers said.

Volvo shocked GRM and the Supercars pitlane in May when it announced it would not renew its factory deal with the team, despite widespread expectation it would.

After a request for a one year extension was rejected, Rogers initiated Federal Court action in October alleging misleading and deceptive conduct, naming Volvo Car Australia and Polestar Performance as the respondents.

The mediation was ordered by a Federal Court judge in Melbourne at the directions hearing into the case in October. It is understood GRM today requested the cars be allowed to race for a further two years.

If the talks do not produce an agreement, the case will be back in court in February for a listings hearing, but that is expected to only set a date for the case to begin proper. That may not happen until mid-2017.

Volvo and Polestar have made it clear they wants to exercise a clause in the contract to buy back the cars and the B8444S engines developed specifically for the Supercars program.

GRM agrees the engine, developed by Volvo’s global racing motorsport partner, Cyan Racing, is Volvo’s to reclaim, but argues the Chinese-owned Swedish car manufacturer has no right to the cars themselves, which are based on a proprietary Supercars chassis.

Rogers said the session hadn’t affected his determination to race the S60s with Volvo engines in 2017.

“We will keep working and working [toward the 2017 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship] and be ready for it,” Rogers promised.

He also said the announcement of a full-time driver to join James Moffat in 2017 was still not ready to be made.

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