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GM's move to IndyCar could cost up to $50 million
It would cost General Motors Co. $25 million to $50 million to get back into the IndyCar Series, according to motorsports business experts.

Reports began to surface this week that GM is considering rejoining the open-wheel series it left in 2005 as soon as 2012. IndyCar Series and GM officials declined to comment, but several racing sources said an announcement could come as early as Friday.

“They’ll have to invest heavily in [research and development] and do a lot of testing,” said Tim Frost, president of Frost Motorsports, a Chicago-based motorsports business consulting firm. “These programs aren’t cheap. That initial investment doesn’t include activation and marketing.”

GM will need up to 18 months to get ready to run the open-wheel series, Frost said.

“If they go through with this, it will be a very busy 2011 for GM,” Frost said.

IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard spent part of this summer lobbying Detroit-based GM to become the series’ second engine manufacturer. Currently, Honda is the series’ sole engine maker.

If its entry into IndyCar is going to help the automaker sell cars, GM has to be competitive with Japan-based Honda.

“They have to show they have the technology to compete with one of the best,” Frost said. “It’s not enough just to roll out onto the track. It will take a lot of time, effort and resources to get up to speed.” IBJ.com

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