Team Motopark ends Russian Time partnership
17 February 2014 – Team Motopark has announced that it has terminated its contract with Russian Time, the 2013 GP2 championship winning team.
The decision comes following the death of Russian Time boss Igor Mazepa earlier this month: “The conditions they [the lawyers and advisers] had in mind [when they tried to re-negotiate the contracts after Mazepa’s passing] would have resulted in us not being competitive anymore," team principal Timo Rumpfkeil claimed. “However, it had always been the aim of both Igor Mazepa and ourselves to establish Russian Time at the very top of every championship we enter.
“We showed that we are capable of doing so by winning the GP2 teams’ title in our maiden season last year. This was where we should have continued. As this seems no longer possible, the cooperation between my Team Motopark and Russian Time unfortunately has come to an end.”
Tom Dillmann had already committed to racing with Russian Time in GP2 in 2014, while the squad had also been planning to run Marvin Kirchhofer, Jimmy Eriksson and Markus Pommer in GP3. All four drivers now face an uncertain future.
“It’s a shame that we cannot continue to show our potential on an international level. I feel especially bad for our GP2 driver Tom Dillman and our estimated GP3 drivers Marvin Kirchhoefer, Jimmy Eriksson and Markus Pommer, who are left out in the open and without a drive when they were sure they had their ducks in line for the year,” Rumpfkeil continued. “Neither them nor our team members who worked hard and tirelessly to make our teams’ title possible in 2013 have done anything wrong, and none of them deserves such devastating news.”
Team Motopark will now focus its efforts on the ADAC Formula Masters and the German Formula Three Cup, it added.
Meanwhile, Sky Sports is reporting that the end of the relationship with Team Motopark will not spell the end for Russian Time and that negotiations with another outfit are at an ‘advanced stage’. This, as yet unnamed team, will now take over operating the squad, which was formed last year, when Mazepa bought the assets of iSport.