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  • Barnhart confident for 33

    Competing in the Indianapolis 500 got significantly cheaper Friday when the event's chief steward confirmed price reductions for engine leases.


    Indy Racing League president Brian Barnhart said Honda Performance Development has agreed to provide V8 powerplants at a rate that increases the likelihood of a full field.
    One-month leases will cost $250,000, half of what teams paid last year. If a team wants to start practicing after the first weekend of qualifying, the rate will be $115,000, down from above $200,000 last year.
    "Based on that alone I feel a whole lot better about our ability to get at least 33 (cars) in the month of May, better than I've felt the past two or three years," Barnhart said.
    Honda became the sole supplier of IRL engines when Chevrolet and Toyota withdrew at the end of last season. Barnhart said the lack of competition among manufacturers keeps the costs down.
    The engine lease for the IRL's 2006 season is $1.3 million. Robert Clarke of HPD already has announced the '07 program will cost less than $1 million. It was $1.8 million in 2005.
    As for Indy, Barnhart said he counts more than 40 people who own IRL cars, a function of the league using the same chassis for the fourth consecutive year.
    "Certainly the engines are getting cheaper and more equitable, but it's still a struggle to find sponsorship," said Greg Beck, who has fielded Indy-only teams the past three years. "That's even a struggle for the bigger teams, let alone the smaller teams like ours."

  • #2
    At last some one in the front office realized there was a problem, it's pretty late in the game but at least the lights are on and they are moving around.

    I hope it isn't too late, anything they catch is not going to be very competitive but maybe 33 isn't just a number after all.
    Dick Ralstin www.dickralstin.com

    Satisfaction guaranteed or your Monkee returned

    Comment


    • #3
      I have no doubt that there will be 33 cars on the starting grid at INDY.

      The facts are:
      * there are more than 33 chassis in existance.
      * there are at least 33 Honda engines in existance.
      * if there is not 33 starters at INDY, it is all over (and TG & BB know it)

      The unknowns are:
      * how many of these starters will be a sham, not capable of making it to the
      first pitstop....
      * how much money it is going to cost somebody to put these cars on the
      grid.
      * who is going the be the "somebody" that pays this unknown amount of
      money.
      Last edited by mac miller; 01-21-2006, 06:36 AM.
      .

      http://indyroadsters.webs.com/
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      http://www.youtube.com/user/macmiller46241


      I love any race car whose last name is "Special"

      .

      Comment


      • #4
        There will be 33. No more. No less.

        And, it will be a heck of a race.

        Comment


        • #5
          In 1998,$115,000 got you a motor you could keep and use whenever you wanted to.

          Comment


          • #6
            How much did it cost to use?
            "Each day well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well therefore to this one day for it, and it alone, is life"
            ~ Sanskrit poem attributed to Kalidasa, "Salutation to the Dawn"


            Brian's Wish

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mac miller
              The unknowns are:
              * how many of these starters will be a sham, not capable of making it to the
              first pitstop....
              * how much money it is going to cost somebody to put these cars on the
              grid.
              * who is going the be the "somebody" that pays this unknown amount of
              money.

              As for #1 who the heck knows, but there is always a chance for a third Ganassi or Fernandez car which could be fairly competitive. With only 3 races before Indy maybe some teams that are still trying to work things out sit for those three races and use the extra time to put a deal together for May and beyond. Without a whole lot of road course test time it doesn't really make a lot of sense to do St. Pete where the potential for having to repair a car is a lot greater than at Sonoma or the Glen. The one positive would be that it could be a very good weekend to entertain a potential sponsor with the setting and the atmosphere. Then you have Motegi, which is not worth a lot of the costs of going over there if you don't have a sponsor and you wind up wrecking a car. Considering that 2/3 of the races before Indy are probably an iffy proposition without a sponsor, a team might be better off waiting until May rolls around.

              #2 I'm not sure about that one.

              #3 - Toyota.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by mac miller
                * how many of these starters will be a sham, not capable of making it to the
                first pitstop....
                I don't think there's been an Indy 500, either before the IRL era or since, that didn't have cars that weren't capable of making it to the first pitstop. I doubt the guys on these teams considered themselves a "sham." They were realistic and knew fully well that they had virtually no chance of winning, and very probably wouldn't be able to complete the 500 miles. But they had a noble yet realistic goal: to put a car in the show and be a part of the greatest race on the planet. Why disparage that?
                "I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend." - Thomas Jefferson

                RIP, Dan. You will always be one of my heroes.

                Comment


                • #9
                  As many posters have noted, a 32 car field would be seen as a total failure on the part of the media, so Brian and George would do whatever was necessary to get to 33. This includes paying for the field fillers out of TG's pocket. I hope it won't come to that, but 32 was never an option.

                  The price drop is good news. The cheaper engine lease obviously makes it easier to field a car, about $250,000 easier. Plus, the $115K last minute engine lease deal helps those walking around in the pits, helmet in hand get a ride. How many people last year didn't have rides because they just missed having enough money? Well, here's a reason for them to come back. Cheaper engines should equal more cars. Does anybody with more knowlege of these things know what that makes the bare minimum cost to run at Indy now?
                  It's impossible, that's sure. So let's start working.- Phillipe Petit

                  Talent borrows, Genius steals. - Pablo Picasso

                  Ah, there's nothing more exciting than science. You get all the fun of sitting still, being quiet, writing down numbers, paying attention... Science has it all.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by speed up
                    Competing in the Indianapolis 500 got significantly cheaper Friday when the event's chief steward confirmed price reductions for engine leases.


                    Indy Racing League president Brian Barnhart said Honda Performance Development has agreed to provide V8 powerplants at a rate that increases the likelihood of a full field.
                    One-month leases will cost $250,000, half of what teams paid last year. If a team wants to start practicing after the first weekend of qualifying, the rate will be $115,000, down from above $200,000 last year.
                    Just another example of how Honda is imposing its will on the IRL, running the show, enforcing its complete control over everything that happens to drive the league out of existance before it bolts to NASCAR and ruining the 500 along the way. Oooops wrong script, that doesn't fit with lowering the price of engines to make it more affordable than in the past to run the month of May. Someone else will have to explain how lower engine costs are a bad thing.
                    "You can't arrest those guys, they're folk heroes"
                    "They're criminals"
                    "Well most folk heroes started out as criminals"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by speed up
                      As for Indy, Barnhart said he counts more than 40 people who own IRL cars, a function of the league using the same chassis for the fourth consecutive year.
                      It was asked on another forum, who are these "more than 40"

                      Ganassi
                      Penske
                      Andretti-Green
                      Panther
                      Kelley
                      Rahal
                      Nunn
                      Fernandez
                      Cheever
                      Dreyer/Reinbold
                      Access
                      Menard
                      Hemelgarn
                      Foyt
                      PDM
                      Beck
                      Agajanian (partnership with Schmidt 2003)
                      Patrick
                      Newman/Haas
                      Roth
                      Robby Gordon
                      Vision
                      Playa Del Racing
                      Sam Schmidt (probably never owned a car himself)

                      That's 24 different entrants. Some, like Menard, Access, Nunn, Kelley, and Patrick, are defunct. Those cars were purchased by other teams in the above list (not in addition to the above list) like Vision and Panther. In fact, I think the Panther cars came from a defunct team for the 04 season, then transferred to Vision for 05. Others, like Playa Del, Robby Gordon and Sam Schmidt, only leased cars from other teams. That shortens the pool even further.
                      Can you guys help fill that in?
                      Asked how he’d like to be remembered were he hit by a bus tomorrow, Tracy doesn’t hesitate: “I’m a race-car driver. At the last second, I’d swerve and avoid the bus.”

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by sightlines
                        It was asked on another forum, who are these "more than 40"



                        Can you guys help fill that in?
                        Why, we didn't make the statement. Heck 24 owners running multiple cars should be enough.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by speed up
                          Why, we didn't make the statement. Heck 24 owners running multiple cars should be enough.
                          Barnhardt says
                          he counts more than 40 people who own IRL cars
                          Sofar, we know of only 24. 17 at least missing. Who are they?
                          Asked how he’d like to be remembered were he hit by a bus tomorrow, Tracy doesn’t hesitate: “I’m a race-car driver. At the last second, I’d swerve and avoid the bus.”

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by sightlines
                            It was asked on another forum, who are these "more than 40"



                            Can you guys help fill that in?
                            Barnhart said 40 PEOPLE, not 40 TEAMS. Dreyer and Reinbold count as 2, Panther count as 4 or 5 and so on since, theoretically at least, any of those guys could take one car, lease an engine cheap and put a deal together fairly easily and quickly.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jim Wilke
                              Barnhart said 40 PEOPLE, not 40 TEAMS. Dreyer and Reinbold count as 2, Panther count as 4 or 5 and so on since, theoretically at least, any of those guys could take one car, lease an engine cheap and put a deal together fairly easily and quickly.

                              OK, cool, so there are no others that you know of. Alright.

                              Andretti and Green, Newman and Hass, hey it's easy to get to 40!
                              Asked how he’d like to be remembered were he hit by a bus tomorrow, Tracy doesn’t hesitate: “I’m a race-car driver. At the last second, I’d swerve and avoid the bus.”

                              Comment

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