Leaders Circle payout to drop in 2016, engine costs to rise?

AutoRacing1 is hearing that the INDYCAR Leaders' Circle payout, which was $1.25 million/team in 2015 will drop in 2016, by about $200,000. Recall this video report from last month's Milwaukee race in which AR1 told you Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles wanted to begin weaning teams off the Leaders' Circle program. Apparently, the owners were told of this change in a meeting Friday with Miles at Mid-Ohio.

Now, this money could be re-allocated to other areas such as race purse or end-of-season championship money. Also, there are 21 Leaders Circle entries this season, and with two races remaining there is actually something of a battle currently for positions 21-24 in the entrant standings. We'll have a little more on this hopefully later as we are awaiting a clarification on a certain matter.

And perhaps, the reduced Leader's Circle money is to allow more participants in the program. However as of now, AR1 is hearing the Leaders' Circle payout per team, will in fact, be reduced.

Another change in fixed costs for the teams could apparently come on the engine front. Reportedly, the costs of engine leases are going up around $ 400-500 thousand per team. If you combine the reduction in Leaders' Circle money above, the net sum is an increase of $700k in fixed costs for the teams.

Again, we imagine money will be kicked back to the teams in some other form, so this is not a "sky is falling," type report. If anything, AR1 has long advocated a reduction in the Leaders' Circle and increase in purse money to encourage teams to hire the best drivers and find sponsors to support those efforts; or using that money for increased marketing of the sport. We also know that the IndyCar TV money, tiny as it is, will increase in 2016.

What exactly will change, we don't know for sure. But it does seem Miles is looking to reallocate some dollars for 2016.

Brian Carroccio reporting for AutoRacing1

Leave a Reply