Former Grand Prix and Champ Car driver Robert Doornbos is pursued for millions by a former sponsor who helped the Dutchman break into F1.
Dutch multi-millionaire Harry Muermans has sued the 30-year-old for a mammoth €11 million stemming from their partnership between 2008-8 when he sponsored Doornbos. The businessman claims that they payments made to support Doornbos were loans, rather than sponsorship.
After a rapid rise through the junior ranks, Doornbos joined the Jordan team as its test driver before signing with Minardi midway through the 2005 season.
He reunited with Minardi boss Paul Stoddart in 2007 to lead the Minardi Team USA outfit’s inaugural Champ Car assault, winning two races and finishing as the year’s best rookie driver.
But a report in the Dagblad de Limburger newspaper claims that Doornbos has since been taken to court of unpaid monies to Muermans, who has won the first round of the hearing after the presiding judge ruled that the money paid to Doornbos’ company – headed by his sister – was in the form of loans, rather than sponsorship.
Doornbos is yet to publically comment on the matter.