Otto Graven hammered out his own version of this story in huge detail breaking down each person in this long story. Your probably going to be lost since Otto Graven goes into way more detail than our blog post so you will want to read up on the Court PDF linked here first before digging into his replies. Here is Otto Graven’s official reply he gave me on how things went down:
Now onto the business at hand.
Wayne Webb (Speedy)
Wayne is known to everyone as Speedy, he had been with me for almost two years, he was the racing teams chief crew mechanic for that duration and had certain responsibilities and towards the end of our relationship things started getting progressively worse. It was no secret that Speedy had started to get homesick which effected his moods and work performance, aggravated by his medical diagnoses that required him to drink calming tablets daily to keep it under control. Alcohol consumption is bound to throw a spanner in the works too! He had threatened to resign from my employ even before we left for the States to attend the Palm Beach event, and when I questioned these threats he claimed that all my other employees were lying, he had never threatened to resign.
The man clearly wasn’t coping with his wife living in Cape Town and not being in South Africa to support his 17 year old son that was drifting for my local team at the time, must have got a bit to much for him and he made the decision to abandon me and his crew member 2 days before a race with not so much as an apology or explanation. The man left, I never fired him! He arrived back at my Raceway in South Africa and wanted to continue working their on his sons drift car, to which I then instructed my HR Department to handle the matter and had my Raceway security instructed to remove him from my premises. The next time I saw Speedy was at this MSA enquiry where he claims I fired him. Might be worth mentioning that his son, who I trained for the past year and spent a ridiculous amount of money on, was right under me on the local drift series driver standings.
John Coetzee (Afroslide) or Dori4life
Where do we start, John got hold of us while he was still in the States and involved there with the drifting, Boso and Ross Petty guys… He said that his American Visa was expiring and he had to return to his hometown in South Africa, so he was looking to find employment with in a local drift team. He sent us an impressive C.V and claimed that he had tons of experience and would be able to help us make the transition into Formula Drift in 2011. Sadly, the man had to be supervised by Speedy non stop, he can’t do anything he claimed and is mechanically challenged. Heck him and Speedy hated each other from day one, and I know how hard it was for them now having to travel together across the State. Either way, I had heard several rumors that John was only looking for a ticket back to America, I dismissed this as random waste of my time – as i do with most things in nature.
My sports manager had no luck securing him an american visa and understand that there is some kind of red flag against his name, he did assure us that he would be able to get a canadian visa, which was surprisingly already approved and all of a sudden him and his wife were canadian citizens, seems a bit quick, don’t u think? Then in the States I had several teams tell me that John was already job hunting in Canada, felt a bit awkward as he still worked for me? So two days before the Monroe event, Speedy had vanished and left me and John to deal with the upcoming event by ourselves. Everything was fine, John was enthusiastic and cheery… after that event he said he had to go into Canada and get his all his citizenship stuff sorted and would be gone for a bout a week. Later I found some house hunting photo’s that were taken…
He met up with me in Monroe after a bout a week and we spent an additional two weeks there prior to the Las Vegas event where everything suddenly seemed to change. His attitude was awful, he was not lifting a finger to help me and I was forced to find a local company to assist me with the upcoming race. The guys at Insanespeed stepped in to help, during pre qualifying practice the car caught fire and John was MIA, after he had finished socializing and bad mouthing me and Insanespeed guys to anyone willing to listen, he came back to our pit. I asked him to jack up the car for me to which he refused, when i started to go toward the car to do it myself he was physically blocking my way and trying to antagonizing me…
The water cooling pump belt had come off during the first qualifying run, so I couldn’t understand why he was trying to provoke me when I had ten minutes to fix this problem before my second run..? Needless to say, I had just found out that morning from my sports manager that a large sum of money had been transferred to Johns personal credit card and was meant to pay local panel beating and spray paint centre in Long Beach, which hadn’t been paid! After I got back from my 2nd run, I asked him to hand over his FD card which listed him as my crew and said to him we would have a hearing that Monday morning.
Local photographer Chris Harrington reported to us that John had removed all his personal belongings during the night out of our rig and that is the last I saw of him, so no he was not fired or stranded. Of course now I can understand, nothing would have made his transition into the States/Canada easier than his Boss knocking his lights out in front of the entire paddock. Doesn’t mean that one day that can’t still happen! LOL Yes and the next I hear, his wife sent a letter to MSA along with Speedy and claimed he was stranded and I physically assaulted him. Looked like he had a blast in china shortly thereafter.
2. Liqui Moly
Monstermob acquired the dealership contract for the Northern Cape, but after various incidents and inquires into the product and it’s performance were questioned, we made a business decision to freeze all orders until further notice. Liqui Moly was never a sponsor for me or my team. Monstermob Car Specialist was a distributer of the product and like any sound business we used our vehicles to market the brand, until the relationship dissolved that is. To date we have yet to receive official supporting documentation that Liqui Moly was/ is a sponsor for the Monstermob Drift Team (Or any other team, for that matter). The outstanding money owing to Liqui Moly is standing in our warehouse, where we have asked that she have the stock collected repeatedly. As for the relationship, yes the public is fully aware of the relationship, I believe the wording has been taken out of context, the existing relationship is of a business nature, not of a sponsorship nature.
3. John Shin – City Tire
Before the season begun, we had decided on Hankook tyres, and my agent set about securing a deal with City Tire and John Shin. During this time, we were also talking to Gary Gardella as well and it then became evident that John Shin wasn’t a viable long term option as his quote was considerably higher, three times as much as that of Gardella Racing with only half the benefits. We purchased our tyres for Long Beach and we paid cash for those and never got invoices back for them. John stated that we had to pay cash the whole time for the tyres, with no invoicing which makes someone uneasy as why wouldn’t you give someone an invoice?
The cherry on this one is that if we agreed to do business in this manner we would get a discounted rate on our tyres. A few months later, and the night before the Palm Beach race, he presented me with a contract that I had little choice but to sign otherwise he said he wouldn’t be supplying me with tyres for the next days race. I already paid for those tyres when John pronounced that if I didn’t sign, I wouldn’t get my tyres, and naturally I cannot prove these transactions as I have to date never received supporting paperwork or cash receipts for the purchase of all the tyres I had used.
As for the contract, it wasn’t even addressed to the correct company, it simply states Monstermob which is not the full trading name of any of our registered trading Companies, I have no company called Monstermob, or any company where I am the sole member… So essentially this contract is not binding. He was aware of this, but stated that it was some form of security for him. This is the explanation for the US$400 000 we apparently owe them, we have NEVER used anything else other than a hectic 30 Hancook’s which was paid in cash in Long Beach and Palm Beach respectively.
The US$37 937.55 invoice he made, listed a two way radio where he gave me a new set of two way radios at Palm Beach which he said cost US$1000… I used them, and the next day he came to my hotel room and after we concluded the discussion over the non-binding contract I took him to an ATM and gave him his US$1000 in his hands. The radios were never seen again. The only money I still owe John is for the golf cart which he quoted at US$450, but I have not bothered as I don’t have my US$1000 radio”s? His Invoice went on to list mechanics – Kenny Chieu, Driver – Kenny Chieu, accomodation for Kenny Chieu, Kenny was supposed to be my spotter, and kenny’s airfare etc, with radio’s and golf kart amounted to US$37 937.55 I HAVE TO THIS DAY NEVER SEEN KENNY CHIEU? If any Formula Drivers see Kenny please tell him I am looking for him.
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