January 23, 2013
Mark Hales Invitational Trophy
Shit happens, at the track more so than elsewhere. Maybe Hales gambled and lost but don't any of you tracktards reading this lie and say if had the same opportunity you would not have taken it.
Certainly you have enjoyed his work so I say: let's help the man out, every little bit can help and if the response is overwhelming, the excess goes to charity.
We for one want to live vicariously sliding sideways at Goodwood in a priceless 250 GTO this fall!
Track Driver Magazine is doing all the work:
"During 2009 Mark Hales was driving a Porsche 917 belonging to David Piper for a feature with a Ferrari 512S owned by Nick Mason. This was for publication in Octane and Auto Italia magazines.
The engine failed due to an over-rev caused by a missed gear, and while Mark maintained there was a wrongly adjusted gearshift which he raised prior to failure, Piper maintained all was well. Similarly Mark maintained there was a verbal conversation surrounding liability in the event of mechanical failure not covered by the insurance, Piper maintained this conversation didn’t take place. Having then failed to obtain remedy from Octane magazine and their insurers he then sued Mark personally in the high court.
Any claim is highly unusual in the world of classic car racing and there are implications for both those driving other peoples cars, and the motoring press in general. This is well described by Motorsport Magazine's Andrew Frankel below;
The judgement went against Mark and he has now to settle the entire judgement of over £120,000.
The claimants lawyers have stated their intention to issue an interim demand for £35,000 which has to be paid in 14 days’ time.
Mark does not have the means to settle the judgement and now faces bankruptcy. The industry has pulled together to avert this and discussions are underway for events that you can support. In the meantime this Paypal account has been set up to assist Mark in relation to the adverse judgement.
Funds credited to the account are gifts, with any surplus being paid to Mission Motorsport – The forces charity headed up by Jim Cameron. While negotiations are underway, Mark is currently dealing with a judgement in excess of £120,000. The claimants lawyers have stated their intention by issuing an interim demand for £35,000 which has to be paid within 14 days of the judgment.
A personal message from Mark follows;
I’ve thought long and hard about this as you can imagine. I feel the decision against me was unjust and I can’t help but come to the conclusion the judge had made his mind up before the case began.
The lawyers have advised that an appeal is legally possible, but this has been an emotionally upsetting time and after four years the prospect of another two spent in similar fashion are not welcome and I would like to bring an end as far as I am able. Unless some significant new evidence comes to light, I do not intend to pursue this further.
I am a racing driver and journalist not a lawyer, and I would like to get back to what I do best.
Thank you all for your support both on line and directly, it’s very welcome and comes at a difficult time.