Otto Graven Is In Trouble with South Africa – Abandonment, Courts, and Hunderds of Thousands in Unpaid Contracts

Posted on Dec 5, 2011 In Formula D Major Announcements Otto Graven

Otto Graven had a great debut season and even graced the front cover of our last issue in Wrecked Magazine. The Motorsport South Africa NPC has held a court of inquiry due to actions that took place during the 2011 season.

Otto Graven is being accused of abandonment of his crew in the United States but offered Virgin flights to show they had the ability to make it home. That wasn’t even the icing on the cake of the things brought up in this courtroom. Apparently Monster Mob and City Tire Online have a contract signed for the amount of $415,000 but nothing is in explanation  of what this contract was for.

Next on the agenda was an invoice for unpaid tires that has stacked up to the amount of $37,937.35 and continues to be unpaid by Otto Graven. According to Otto however he is in litigation on this issue because he was coerced into signing a contract in order to get tires for a race. The drama continues while referring to him as South African champion  (which is used on the Formula D website) as a “journalistic poetic license,” which would imply to us that he isn’t the champion of South Africa?

Who even knows at this point!? The long story short here is Otto Graven has had his competition license in South Africa revoked for 12 months (no word on if this will effect his Formula D license or status with them). This story sounds like it is straight out of Wired Magazine instead of a drifting venture but we are interested to see what parties will come forward and tell us about what really went down!




  1. Mark says:

    Afro is the man… the end.

  2. YOitzJDM says:

    isn’t that dude like a multi-millionaire? i heard he runs a diamond mine or something in south africa…. how does he have outstanding debts of $400k?

    i think 90% of the FD competitors spend less than that in 2 years of competing AFTER building a competitive car, and he blew all that and more on 1 year? jeez…

  3. Wrecked Magazine says:

    I have heard from sources outside of these South African courts that I guess Otto Graven has had problems trying to get money out of South Africa to pay people?

    Not sure if this is where some of the issue lies but also that was pure hear say I have heard from third parties.

  4. Jeremy says:

    Blood Diamond!

  5. Chad says:

    As messed up as this is, i don’t think its necessary to publicly post another mans business, what is this part tmz to? No need

  6. petite pounder says:

    its already been publicly aired by the South African sanctioning body of motorsports. and this could potentially have detrimental effect on Otto as far as driving next year in FD. so i’d reckon that its news. and not of the tabloid variety.

  7. Mike Peters says:

    Otto Tune the Wreckedblog.

  8. E says:

    Crazy situation for Otto… I cant comment on the other allegations but i can tell you, at the time Otto came to the USA, he had won almost every championship available in SA. he was the undisputed best drifter in the country… everyone knew that…

    There was not however an OFFICIAL south african championship though… so technically yes he was never SA champ, but cmon guys… the sport was still growing in SA and for all intents and purposes, he was.

  9. Matt Petty says:

    that car still looks like a hot bag of crap… i mean with 400k in the air… isnt there a couple bucks for not the worst kit ever…and maybe tone down the livery to something that when in motion doesn’t make me want to fill the garbage with barf.

  10. Mike peters says:

    So you’re saying he Otto redo the car?

  11. hollywood says:

    yes! thats exactly what he is saying. dude drove good no doubt but come on man the car looks like a hot bag of dicks

  12. Matt Petty says:

    mike im saying he otto rethink some things for 2012… and otto grab some more dollas upfront.

  13. beto says:

    Drifting is SRZ business bruh.


    In a statement made earlier by Otto Graven, he went on to comment that he was not going to let his enemies or their pathetic attempts to derail or stop him from finishing what he started.

    The only unfortunate part about this is that we were never contacted by Wrecked Magazine or it’s “unknown scribe” (they have all our contact info), to comment? Is this not perhaps unlawful ethics from such a reputable media publication?

    We will be contacting Wrecked Magazines Editor shortly and will respond in a more professional manner. I am positive that Wrecked readers are going to be rather surprised with the facts of the various parties involved.

  15. Andre says:

    Really guys? I am a huge South African Drift fan and have followed the sport here for a while. Otto is one the countries top drifters, and pretty much helped start the sport here with a few other guys like Florin, Jonathan & Bruno. He wins almost every event and although there isn’t an official championship in place yet, he is a champion – thats what winning back to back races makes you doesn’t it?

    The link to the courts finding by MSA (Motorsport South Africa) is ridiculous, what does that have to do with Motorsports anyway?
    I found it hard to understand how ex employees get to lodge an enquiry to a local motorsport governing body and they entertain such stuff? As for business dealings, what does that have to do with MSA? It’s private and should have been handled in small claims court or whatever!

    It is what it is – politics and by the looks of it sour grapes!

    I wish Otto and his team all the best, your car rocks! Love the PROUDLY South African flag car wrap! Di Amerikanse mense sal nooit van ons suid afrikaner hou ni, want hy gaan hulle gat skop!

  16. Mike Peters says:

    So Wrecked Otto get their facts straight?

  17. Chan says:

    City Tire Online:

    This company was contacted to be a tire service provider for FD 2011 season, all payments was cash upfront before each race.

    After the Palm Beach Race still no proof of payment was received after numerous requests for any tire transaction leaving Otto and his team in violation of their visa agreement within the United States.

    A decision was taken to move to Falken which operated more professionally and please contact Falken the record will speak for itself.

    $415,000 Agreement: Otto as a driver never negotiated the deal, he is the driver. This was done via team management. When it became apparent that this deal was going nowhere in a hope to revive the deal City Tire Online gave Otto an ultimatum, sign or you don’t have tires to race this weekend, this minutes before the race. My question is: if Otto is liable for that amount why is this matter not pursued in a court of law? But in tabloids only? He did not even have the power of attorney to sign any contract on behalf of MonsterMob.


    The crew was just not up to the standard FD required, this was evident in the mechanical, planning and other problems experienced during the season. Simple example the reason Otto did not compete in Atlanta was because they forgot to ship the additional body kits to the USA.

    Las Vegas during practice the car caught fire his chief mechanic at that stage was sitting with his buddies in the crowd unaware what was happening to his team!!!!!!

    To enter the USA by law you need to have a return ticket, they received their monthly salaries, was summoned to return to South Africa for internal hearings, so they were ok I suppose unless they wanted a sending of party??????

    Motor Sport South Africa is one of numerous bodies within South Africa representing motor sport. Up until last year did not recognize drifting. The reason this enquiry was not appealed or defended well was due to the fact that he was not going to race in any competitions under their umbrella. Their jurisdiction is South Africa, my question is these allegations happened in the USA, why didn’t the automotive authorities is the US took him to task?
    As for MSA they might just be upset because they are not the preferred association threw with the FD South Africa competition will took place. And apparently the South African government is planning to make this the biggest drifting event outside of the USA, just like they did this year with the Maloof Money Cup Skateboarding event.
    But who am I to speculate? Get your facts from their team management from

  18. Monstermob Raceway says:

    No response from Wrecked yet, we have asked for the Editors personal contact info.

    Based on their location, they may still be asleep. We can assure you, we will make public the facts pertaining to the MSA Court of Enquiry and ALL parties associated with it. This kind of publicity is what fuels politics within all kinds of sports, not just motorsports and invariably ends up causing more damage than it was originally worth, not just for ‘the’ person(s) but business’s which can have a damaging ripple effect. We dont CONDONE POLITICS! Point is, business isn’t always that simple and being in the public eye will make you a target for someone at some point.

  19. DMI Ace says:

    Mike otto stop?

  20. Brad Heyl says:

    Feel bad for the guy… hope he can get it all figured out. Regardless, as a fan I hope he doesn’t return to FD. He seemed pretty inconsistent and sketchy.

  21. Mike Peters says:

    I suppose I otto get a new joke for this thread.

  22. Lifer says:

    Mike otto pull some lucky diamonds otto his arse real soon.

  23. Matt Petty says:

    also, didnt wrecked run otto on the cover? How much more publicity can you get out of them.. Its all how you spin it man. Smear campaign…hardly.

  24. Slideways Xtreme says:

    If every SA drifter is asked and they have to answer honestly, they will tell you: Otto Graven is SA’s best!Talking about someone especially if you don’t have the facts or know the person, is easy, but how about listening to their side of the story before you comment? Otto Graven is a great person, fantastic drifter and humble sportsman. The problem is, that jealousy makes you nasty and we would love to know where Wrecked got their info from. In South-Africa many has tried to launch smear campaigns due to this jealousy but so far Otto has always been the better man. Sorry Otto, but you are such a great drifter and this kind of petty nonsense will always follow you – live in the fast lane friend!!!

  25. Mike Peters says:

    Exactly. They otto rethink what they’re saying as well.

  26. Jeremy says:

    What are those really long posts supposed to mean?

  27. YOitzJDM says:

    Does Otto owe money to people or not?

    Is his license suspended in South Africa or not?

    seems like they reported the facts correctly… if someone is going to dispute that the contract was signed incorrectly, that’s a whole nother argument, but as of now, per a contract that is in his name, he owes money to someone.

  28. Matt Petty says:

    i dont know.. but the fact remains.. that car looks like crap

  29. petite pounder says:

    i fail to see the smear campaign.

    the information is out on the internet for anyone to see. its not like this was something that was hidden away under sealed envelope that was brought to the surface.

    Was he crowned the champion of SA or not? Seems like he wasnt.

    There is no deliberate distortion of information here as the post just reiterates what was written by an official sanctioning body in SA. Theres no misrepresentation of facts either.

    and if you dont want to be involved in politics, might as well go live under a rock. theres no industry in the world that doesnt have politics governing it. so whining and crying about that is just dumb. you either complain about it, or you become a winner and you work the system from the inside and u rule it yourself.

  30. petite pounder says:

    btw, i just gave myself the title of champion of yoitzjdm’s mom. cause i’ve hit it more times than anyone else.


  31. Mike Peters says:

    People otto just listen to Matt Petty on this one until things become clear otherwise.


    Lotto’ conflicting info here, but you otto read it again and it otto make sense after that. Segregate the posts too, don’t try to read them with intentto have one clear message.

  32. Blockockney says:

    The better question is what the fuck is going on with Formula Drift seems like its falling apart, so many drivers have not divulged where they are heading next yr? This is without a doubt shaping up to be “THE MOST BORING OFF SEASON” on record! WTF!

  33. Jeremy says:


    I read wrecked’s story, it has lots of words, but I understood the points being made. Then I read the posts made by Otto’s boys, about the same amount of words, maybe even less, and all I see is words. Like nothing substantial.

  34. Mike Peters says:

    I think everyone otto just get together, they gotto get their facts straight.

  35. tirekicker says:

    *popcorn eating gif*

  36. Mike peters says:

    I’m all otto ways to use the word Otto right now.

    Someone Otto come in and pick up the slack

  37. mark says:

    MIKE: as much as I wanna help you, I OTTO stay out of this one…..

  38. Lifer says:

    Otto otto get otto SA and he otto have money and a good story cause Otto otto need to bring closure to this ottomation ;P Otto’s car is an Ottobot!

  39. Mike peters says:

    Lifer you otto get it together. Your post is all otto the place

  40. Lifer says:

    yeah im ottowhelmed, But I’m graven for some drift action!

  41. petite pounder says:

    does otto have an ottoman?

  42. Mike Peters says:

    Looks like the graven train is otto money….

  43. INSIDER says:

    Why is it only Otto’s name on this pathetic excuse for a blog?? What about S****Y and J**N (DORI4LIFE)??? I know, just like the 2 ‘gold diggers’ that they were given opportunities that they would not have received with any other racing team. Lets not even talk about JASW and all the opportunities and favours he received and he would never have been where he is now if it wasn’t for the guy that everybody wants to suddenly crucify. The same people who are feeding the media this BULL is the very same people who was ‘living the dream’ with Otto Graven, grow the f**k up and admit that you f**kers are useless and stop looking for a quick buck to make! If you learnt nothing from Otto since working for him, at least learn about MANNING THE F**K UP, B*&^%$S!!!!!

  44. Yan says:

    petite looks like the ottoman is being reposessed!

  45. Outsider says:

    insider = otto

    no one is feeding the media except you and quincy, the official hearing outcome is available to the public , you otto be a little bit more professional than this.

  46. Mike Peters says:

    So there is a lotto information to sift through, the hearing already had an outcome?

  47. AnotherGuy says:


  48. OU GROOTTE! says:

    Listen Matt Patty, Otto as a beginner in FD that season, ended up in the top 16 with that crap car – so pig your words right my friend – take your crap talk to some other dusuccion, please we dont want to here your childish comments! As for the other people -He is a successfull business man and can pay that easy. So get your facts straight! You know that this South-African laaity is gonna kick some real ass when he returns. Thats a fact!