Junior Open Wheel Talent

News and Views on Drivers Chasing Open-Wheel Stardom

Markus Niemela vs. Brooks Associates Racing (Updated)

by Ryan Stringfield
Posted January 8, 2009 at 6:56 pm open wheel racing news

Some interesting and unfortunate news about 2008’s Atlantic Champion, Markus Niemela, and his former team, Brooks Associates, surfaced this afternoon….

Apparently, Niemela signed a contract with Brooks Associates Racing prior to the start of the 2008 Atlantic Championship season. That contract is now the source of controversy, as it’s currently being disputed by the two. And yes…. you guessed it, the argument centers around money.

There are two sides to every dispute…..

According to the press release, Niemela states that he was ****updated***** Not given $200,000 dollars to sign a one-year contract with the team, which also included championship funds at the end of the year.

According to Brooks Associates Racing, “…our team was proud to give an under-budgeted young driver the opportunity to combine assets to win the 2008 Atlantic Championship.

We had a legal and binding contract with Markus Niemela, which both he and his sponsor signed. During negotiations, it was specifically agreed that any end-of-season monies were to be paid to the team.

Unfortunately for Markus, when ChampCar went bankrupt, the Championship Driver Award of a credit for a 2009 ChampCar ride went away. He is looking to now make changes to a signed agreement.

We wish Markus every success, but are disappointed in these slanderous accusations.”

Take what you will from the information given, but it seems a bit odd to me that a team would pay a driver to contest the championship and provide them with the winnings; especially at the junior formula level. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds, but I have a feeling Markus is going to have to find his funding for 2009 elsewhere.

**update** As expected their was some translation errors on the part of the prracewire reporter. The updated story can be found here.**



  1. meeshbeer on January 9, 2009 1:32 am

    ick. that's an ugly & unfortunate situation. Of course "slander" easily settled with the appearance of said contract with signatures and stipulations…

  2. Anonymous on January 9, 2009 5:03 am

    Someone must have misunderstood something… I happen to know for sure that Niemela was not getting paid and he had to bring large amount of the team’s budget with him in order to race.

  3. JOWT on January 9, 2009 8:14 am

    I agree the story seems pretty fishy. I have a feeling there is some information being withheld from the general public. As soon as I have some updated information, I will do a follow up post.

    In the meantime, I wish both Markus and Brooks Associates Racing the best. I’m sure we will see everything cleared up shortly.

  4. JOWT on January 9, 2009 11:22 pm

    As expected, there was an error in translation on the original story from prracewire/autochannel. Both the orginal article and this post have been updated.

  5. meeshbeer on January 10, 2009 2:39 pm

    Further clarification, including the passage from the contract can be found on Markus’ site:

  6. JOWT on January 10, 2009 8:33 pm

    Thanks Meesh

  7. Anonymous on February 11, 2009 8:10 pm

    Well, I know John Brooks personally and I have to say there is something to Markus’ claims. There was probably a verbal agreement after Champ Car’s demise. But if Markus continued the season without rewriting the contract it’s his own fault and there is nothing to be done now.

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