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From the IndyCar rumor millUPDATE With regard to the rumor we reported last week (below) of Conquest racing in the ALMS in 2012, Veteran open-wheel team owner Eric Bachelart tells SPEED.com his 2012 plans will include concurrent IndyCar and sports car programs. Conquest Racing will join the small fraternity of IndyCar teams that also campaign a sports car program.
Do we know who really does have the B&W sponsorship money?
Regarding the signing of Simon Pagenaud and Josef Newgarden, the thing that strikes us about both of them is that the teams are signing drivers without having the budget to run the full season. Could these drivers only run a partial season? Supposedly, Sam Schmidt has Bowers & Wilkins, but we know that they only spend about $2 million a year on IndyCar sponsorship and that is not nearly enough to run the season on.
Supposedly, Bryan Herta and Alex Tagliani think they have B&W's $2 million, so we will see.
Sarah Fisher doesn't have much sponsorship lined up at all yet we hear. We bet that Mr. Hartmann bought the chassis' for them, as he did that before. Still, they are far away from the $6-7 million needed to run competitively.
We have heard that the Nuclear deal for Simona De Silvestro is $3.5 million, so they are a bit short too as we understand it. We have to investigate whether Lotus is paying teams or not. Rumors say that they might be paying HVM and Herta some cash.
We hear that Conquest is looking to go to ALMS in an LMP2 program with Oak-Pescarolo.
So, same old story - IndyCar is not getting the sponsorship needed, and the fact that they have a noose around their neck in the way of Versus, and not yet having the 2012 schedule announced is not helping.
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