Super Aguri on tenterhooks

Super AguriSuper Aguri s future hangs in the balance today as the Leafield outfit await a decision from Honda on the proposed rescue package from German Automotive the Wiegl Group.

The executive board of Honda, Super Aguri s creditor, sponsor and technical supplier, will meet in Tokyo tomorrow to decide whether to accept the offer from Wiegl or to end its support for the Anglo-Japanese minnow.

Yesterday in Istanbul the on-going saga took a further twist as Super Aguri s trucks and motorhome were denied access to the Speed Park s paddock ahead of next weekend s Turkish Grand Prix. Nick Fry, Honda CEO, is rumoured to have informed organisers that Super Aguri would not be racing in Turkey.

Fry has been open in his scepticism of the proposed Wiegl buy-out and does not believe that the company has the resources to secure the long-term future of Super Aguri (see separate story click HERE).

However, Franz Weigl, CEO of the Weigl group, hit back at the Honda chief saying that the offer is backed by “strong business finance partners”:

“The Weigl group’s offer is backed by strong business finance partners who along with the Weigl group would like to invest long term and not just short term,” the 50-year-old told Japan’s Kyodo News agency.

“With our partners, the offer is not only about rescuing the team, but about constructing a future for the Super Aguri F1 team and Takuma Sato. We hope that Honda board members would be willing to have faith in our long term business plan.”

Super Aguri’s trucks and motorhome are currently parked outside the track waiting for further news from the team. Team personnel have already begun travelling to the race.


Profile: Franz Weigl

Franz Josef Weigl is a German business man now living in Munich, and who turned 50 years old on Wednesday March 26, the week between the Malaysia and Bahrain Grand Prix.

Weigl’s firm is based in Pottmes in Bavaria. The company has eight subdivisions at six different locations. It concentrates on metalworking, notably with transmissions and treatments for engine parts. It also owns a foundry and a prototyping subsidiary, i.e. a perfect match for Super Aguri and Takuma Sato.

Weigl has been actively involved in F1 since the end of 2005. “We were sharing technology solutions with the Midland F1 team and supported them in bringing high level solutions and expertise to help MF1 with the design and construction of its gearbox.”

The German businessman met with Super Aguri Team Principle two years ago. “I have always been impressed by the Super Aguri team,” says Weigl. “The team is a strong fighter and very competitive for the level of investment. For my company and my investors, with the help of Honda, Super Aguri must survive, live and become successful.”

Source: Kyodo News