Who wants a raise?
SpeedTV is reporting there will be a new “flatter” revenue sharing plan in place for 2008, saying that teams should be guaranteed around $1.3M in prize money just for showing up to every race on the docket. The objective here is to raise car counts, and that $1.3M will pay for engine and tires for any entry that wants to race. It’s only about a quarter of the total budget required, but that’s a pretty huge step.
The braintrust at TrackSide Online has broken down these numbers further, indicating the total prize money for next year could realistically go from near $25M to as much as $44M, with much of the difference coming if Tony George just reduces an unsponsored car from his Vision Racing team. I’m sure he finds it ironic that by reducing the cars on his own team he can likely increase car counts for the whole league. Doh!
So what does it all mean? Adding more money at the bottom end of the purses worked wonders for car counts in the Indy Pro series this year, so similar logic is being applied to the IndyCar series. In one year that series went from having 12-16 cars per race to around 24 for each event, and many of those new teams are pricing options for becoming ICS ventures in the next year or so. The new plan likely leaves less prize money for the more dominant teams, but in return they get a healthier series and more competition.
OK - maybe not more competition, but at least more cars on the track.
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