THE long-running legal dispute between Jamie Whincup and personal sponsor Monster Energy that threatened to derail the driver's V8 Supercar championship defence has been resolved with the parties reaching an out-of- court settlement on Wednesday.
For the past three years the four-time champion had personal sponsorship from the energy drink manufacturer and it's understood that contract was renewed for a further three years in March last year.
However, the complication occurred in August when his contracted race team, Triple Eight, announced that rival energy drink company Red Bull would be the new naming rights sponsor for 2013 after Vodafone had decided not to renew its contract.
Clearly this placed Whincup in a most invidious position as there was an obvious conflict of interest.
Whincup then sought to opt out of his contract with Monster Energy but it stood firm and began legal proceedings.
In February, just before the official test day at Sydney Motor Sport Park and opening event of the championship in Adelaide, Monster Energy applied in the Sydney Supreme Court for an injunction to force Whincup to honour the terms of his contract.
Triple Eight team principal Roland Dane made it very clear to the judge that if his driver was forced to meet the terms of the contract, such as displaying the Monster logo and signage, he would have no choice to stand him down and he would miss the test session and opening round.
Dane also went so far as to state that if that happened, Whincup's chances of winning the championship would be diminished to the point that he could be stood down for the rest of the year.
The judge dismissed the application and Whincup contested both the test session and the opening round of the championship, albeit without any reference to Monster on his helmet or driving suit.
The case then returned to the NSW Supreme Court on Monday and the parties continued to argue until the out-of-court resolution was reached on Wednesday.
While no details have been released, it's understood the settlement was in favour of Monster but at least Whincup could now focus on winning another title.
In further V8 Supercar news, Independent V8 Commissioner Chris Lambden has been charged with the responsibility of working with the teams and other stakeholders to establish what cost-cutting measures can be implemented to ease financial pressures being experienced by the category.
While all appears to be rosy on the outside, it has become increasingly obvious that some teams are not travelling too well financially and it's become obvious to the movers and shakers that something needs to be done to arrest the situation.
The teams have been advised that their revenue return from their race entitlements contracts are going to be significantly reduced this year due in part to the reduced returns from the new two-year contract with television provider the Seven Network.