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TEAM down to just 20 cars in 2011?

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  • TEAM down to just 20 cars in 2011?

    Robin threw this out there on Wind Tunnel last night, but I've heard others poking at it. He said that the series could reduce the TEAM program to just 20 cars, down from 24 (I think) last year. He then started talking about the program being tied to drivers, in that by finishing 20th in points Graham Rahal had qualified. It's difficult to imagine a team running near a full schedule without it.
    "If your car was a dog, then you had to figure it out and test your own limits. And we didn't go to a wind tunnel – we did it in the first turn at Indianapolis."

  • #2
    It seems strange to me that TEAM money would follow a driver and not stay with a team. I would think it would be based off of owner points, not driver points. I know Conquest changed which driver was in a certain car trying to anticipate that very thing.

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    • #3
      They must want 20 car fields because that's what they'll get. Like I've said in many post previously...the George Sisters just want a payday. They don't care about growth of the sport...if revenue doesn't increase...expect more cost cutting measures out of 16th and Georgetown. You never hire a CFO to build a company....you hire them to make a company lean.
      We want to relate to Americana. I went to the Indy 500 and that was Americana. I sat in various turns and I didn’t see any champagne drinkers, but I saw a lot of beer drinkers. We appeal to the wine and cheese crowd, but we also appeal to the masses – the beer drinkers.” Randy Bernard

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      • #4
        Originally posted by SnakePitLounge View Post
        They must want 20 car fields because that's what they'll get
        That is exactly what IndyCar and Honda (more specifically) want. It's a matter of them cutting expenses in an attempt to get to more positive cash flow. Pretty much like the 30% sanction fee increase (in some cases) for next year that got so much publicity at one point.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by SnakePitLounge View Post
          ....You never hire a CFO to build a company....you hire them to make a company lean.
          Very true in the majority of cases.

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          • #6
            What I found interesting is that he was saying the TEAM was going to be based off of the previous season. In the past, the TEAM money was based on the season in progress, and was available to any team that started every race during the season.

            Now it sounds like, Indycar is going to limit the number of teams based off of the previous season standings. Only the top 20, 22 or 24 teams (number to be determined) will receive TEAM money.

            My question is, are they going to increase prize money?

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            • #7
              Personally, I'm fine with the IndyCar Series declining to reward teams for sticking Francisco Dracone and Milka Duno in a car. I'm sure they're nice people, but are they actually worth ~$1 million each in value to the series?

              You can argue about 20 vs. 22 vs. 24 TEAM spots per season. Maybe 20 is a little bit too austere.

              I can see the logic in tying it to the team, rather than the driver, but tying it to the driver increases the chance of consistently keeping the top drivers in cars for multiple seasons.

              Great example: Bertrand Baguette had an OK rookie season. He had a few solid runs for a barely-funded team. Is he the next Foyt? Heck no. But he was a solid driver, and he certainly didn't embarrass himself out there. I think he deserves a second season. But he's exactly the kind of guy who could be bounced for a bigger check in a heartbeat, especially if the TEAM money he helped earn by finishing 22nd in points stays with the seat rather than him. But if that money is tied to him, it's not so easy to bounce him for the next funded guy with a year's worth of cash. Maybe Baguette isn't going to move the needle in the long run, but a steady rotation of guys nobody has heard of who are gone in a year is even worse. At least Baguette now has some recognition among IndyCar fans. We've heard his name, and know he can drive. Maybe in another year, we'll learn even more about him, and he'll develop a few fans of his own. At the very least, I don't want to see his effort go for naught because another all-but-anonymous driver from the Renault World Series ranks cobbled together ever-so-slightly more money.
              Manus haec inimica tyrannis ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem.

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              • #8
                RB has said over and over again that driver stablility is a big deal. you cant have 6 drivers in a car all year and expect ppl to care. this helps that in a big way. however this does hurt gaining more teams. this may hurt someone like SFR next year if they go full time and are a back of the pack team. i guess i have mixed feelings on it.

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                • #9
                  I agree, this might be good in the long run, but next year, less cars.

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                  • #10
                    Randy Bernard has stated he wants the best drivers in the world whatever nationality that may be. Someone like Sarah many fans like, but a driver is going to have to show results or they are not going to make it.

                    The question becomes how many cars do you want for each race?

                    You know you want at least 33 for Indianapolis. And, it appears they want a minimum of 20 for all other races. We know the number of cars for Japan and Brazil races are limited.

                    I believe there were 24 cars that receive the TEAM money this year. So, there were anywhere from 0 - 4 other cars each race that were racing for sponsorship money only. How long will that continue to happen? Will dropping the cost of the car encourage enough teams to continue to race without receiving any TEAM money?

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                    • #11
                      From what TSO has reported, there's still going to be a significant amount of $$$ that the non-TEAM teams will get for qualifying for a race.

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                      • #12
                        TEAM = spelled ....W E L F A R E

                        Get rid of it alltogether. Put a gun to the team owners' heads and they will find the money. None of them besides Chip and Roger will go cabbing, and very few will head to sportscars.

                        The TEAM money would be better spent on marketing and activation, and time buys on network tv.

                        If the series can't sustain itself, the Indy 500 needs to become a stand alone event.

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                        • #13
                          20 car fields:mad:

                          I've actually skipped going to CART/IRL races when the fields were that thin- and I'm a Super Fan!!

                          Indy Car better get it in their heads quickly that car counts are very important to getting butts in the seats
                          "Charging a man with murder here was like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500."- Capt. Willard, Apocolypse Now
                          "Ain't nuthin' like [being with a woman], 'cept maybe the Indy 500."- Bunny, Platoon
                          "To alcohol! The cause of- and solution to- all of life's problems."- Homer J. Simpson

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                          • #14
                            I think the TEAM program is worthwhile and tying it to "Driver Points" instead of "Owner Points" will definetly cut back on the mid-season musical chairs.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by No_Fenders View Post
                              TEAM = spelled ....W E L F A R E

                              Get rid of it alltogether. Put a gun to the team owners' heads and they will find the money. None of them besides Chip and Roger will go cabbing, and very few will head to sportscars.

                              The TEAM money would be better spent on marketing and activation, and time buys on network tv.

                              If the series can't sustain itself, the Indy 500 needs to become a stand alone event.
                              According to the ratings it already is.
                              What happened?

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