Some Indycar developments this week have sharpened the 2019 picture a bit, but the big announcements are still to come.
International Media Rights In House
Indycar has created Indycar Media, a new organization in house distribution of the series’ global media rights. Indycar media plans to make deals with more than 24 licensees representing more than 100 countries. This gives Indycar flexibility to tailor content to specific needs, Sweden might want more features on Felix Rosenqvist and Marcus Ericsson, Should a certain Spanish driver enter the Indianapolis 500, Spain and a lot of Europe would want more stories about him.
This is a good deal for the series. There is potential for good income growth here.
Road to Indy Prize Packages
The Road to Indy and Andersen Promotions revealed their scholarship and cash awards for 2019. A combined total of $2 million is available to the champions of the three series.
The Indy Lights champion receives $1.1 million which goes toward three Indycar races in 2020, including the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500. Winning the Pro Mazda title nets $596,700. $500,00 of the prize is scholarship money for Indy Lights, and the rest is for entry fees and Cooper tires at the next level.
USF2000’s top driver will have $305,600- a $250,000 scholarship and $55,600 for tires and entry fees in Pro Mazda.
My spending other people’s money segment today-
I think the top three drivers in points should get some scholarship award, even if it means they spend another year at the same level.
Juncos- 2 Cars, No Drivers
Juncos Racing has purchased a second Dallara chassis. They plan to use the second car to enhance their test days. As far as the race schedule, Juncos will again be a part time team. They may run more races with just one car or fewer races with two cars. It’s great to see teams buying extra cars.
Juncos has not signed any drivers fort he season or for testing as of today.
A video from Brazil today announced an Indycar race will take place on the streets of Rio de Janeiro in2020. The video showed the track layout and an animated Indycar in Verizon livery driving the circuit. Signage included Verizon, Toyota, and DHL. There is a slight glitch to this plan. Neither Mark Miles nor Jay Frye have signed an agreement for this race. Indycar says there no plans in motion to hold this event.
Speculation about a race in Uruguay also has been discussed. I can’t envision two Indycar races in South America in a season. They would have to be run either on consecutive weekends, or within a span of three weeks. That is a long time away from home for all involved. Compensation needs to be well worth everyone’s effort.
My guess – one of the two is likely, no earlier than 2020. Waiting until 2021 and the new engine and possibly chassis package might be a better idea.
Still no word on a title sponsor for Indycar. I was hoping we would know something by Thanksgiving, but that may be optimistic.