Junior Open Wheel Talent

News and Views on Drivers Chasing Open-Wheel Stardom

Tuesday Morning Reading

by Ryan Stringfield
Posted July 20, 2010 at 10:29 am open wheel racing news

Yesterday, Mark Boudreau of F1Prospects.com posted a nice interview with Juncos Racing Team Owner Ricardo Juncos.  The interview, as a whole, is a very good read.  The part that really stands out — at least to me — is this statement from Ricardo:

In my opinion, it’s crazy that the winner of the championship gets $750,000 in sponsorship, but the second place driver gets nothing.  Zero.  So that hurts.  If they could give $600,000 in sponsorship for first place and $200,000 for second place, Peter Dempsey would be racing this year and not sitting on the sidelines.  That’s a big question that needs to be answered.

He brings up a good point.  Not that there is anything wrong with the funding that Mazda is putting out… it’s great!… nobody is complaining.  But, when you actually stop and think about it, it really only makes sense to spread the wealth a little more and help more than one driver.  The champion should get the bulk of the funding, but it wouldn’t hurt to help out, say the top-three drivers in order to keep some of the true-talents behind-the-wheel.  Thoughts?

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10 Comments

  1. Doug on July 20, 2010 10:40 am

    I think your thought of spreading the scholarship over the top three is a good one. It would give more drivers more motivation to participate in the junior series. How often do we hear about a driver that has some funding in place, but not quite enough to secure a ride? That extra little bit for second or third in the championship could mean the difference between racing and spectating.

  2. Mark Boudreau on July 20, 2010 11:13 am

    Good points. I too think that a progressive prize fund would be more helpful than lumping it all with one driver.

    We are having technical issues with the site right now so if it is inaccessible please be patient and try again later. Damn hackers….

  3. Rick on July 20, 2010 9:55 pm

    Agreed. Dempsey deserved better than fate delivered. Clearly the class of the field last year. Seems that only rich boys need apply some times. a half and quarter sponsorship could be prizes.

  4. LaConga on July 21, 2010 5:45 am

    I found it interesting that Ricardo makes a hint of skipping from skip barber to star Mazda. This would eliminate a driver from participating in rival star mazda team owner dan andersens usf2000 series. What does he base this comment on?

  5. Mark Boudreau on July 21, 2010 11:29 am

    Not sure what he bases his comment on but there is no requirement that a driver follow the Road to Indy ladder in sequence as far as I know. Skipping a rung should not be an issue if the driver is judged ready.

  6. Michael Edwards on July 21, 2010 11:30 am

    I also agree that a “tiered” approach would be helpful. I say that even though my son won the title and the $750K in 2008. Peter was a deserving driver both in 2008 and 2009 and is one we would all like to see driving something today. I certainly would not include more than 3 prizes, and given the size of the fields today, 2 would seem more appropriate.

  7. Indy Fan on July 21, 2010 8:57 pm

    Michael,
    Any good reason I saw Jon in the Andretti base at Watkins? Any good news you’d like to share hopefully?

  8. Michael Edwards on July 21, 2010 10:22 pm

    Indy Fan,
    Write me at trnnflt@yahoo.com and we can discuss. I think they want the content here kept to the subject, but I’m glad to answer.

  9. Mark Milazzo on July 22, 2010 6:57 pm

    I think it’s a great idea to split 750k between the top 3. The $750k Mazda fund was based on moving the champ up to Mazda Atlantic and lots of things have changed since then. If you read THIS year’s rules the champion gets $100,000 and prize money is paid down to $10,000 for 15th. I believe that Mazda and Mazdaspeed are offering a seat somewhere (likely Grand-AM RX8) to the champion of the series, but I can’t find anywhere that states that they are still offering the 750k.

  10. Julian Puppolo on July 22, 2010 7:12 pm

    I would like to answer to the anonymous writer (LaConga):
    In my opinion and for knowing in person Ricardo Juncos with his though share in this interview he is based on the fact that it is not to skip a rivals series but to help drivers be were they need to be. Not many team owners on the Stars Mazda Championship can see what capacity and level there drivers have, and for a professional driver time and age is the differences to be in F1 or not. If your level is over the class you would have to be in, there is no reason why not jump to the next.
    In my opinion the interview was a great one…

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