£20 a minute? That's ridiculous...

Historic Racing

£20 a minute

Having not made it onto a racetrack at all last season I am in the throws of doing my medical and re-applying for my racing licence. The medical can pretty much be passed over the phone and the most taxing thing the doctor will do is to take your blood pressure.

All types of motor sport are good fun, be it kicking tyres in the paddock or trying to take Eau Rouge flat without making a mess of your FIA homologated suit – I sadly/luckily have managed neither. But as with all the popular hobbies, there is a price attached to it and motor racing is one that can drain your bank account quicker than being stuck in Duty Free with a delayed flight.

In order to try and stem the haemorrhaging of funds my father, brother and I, try and enter long distance races for three drivers meaning that we get lots of time on track and the bill is split three ways. Having enquired about the Le Mans classic only to find that the entry fee alone was 4900 euros we decided to look elsewhere but is this actually that expensive nowadays?

To make things easy, if you cancel out the travelling cost against the excitement of racing abroad then you are left with the entry fee (and petrol, wear and tear etc.). Of course 5000 euros would be, although still expensive, good value for money if it was a series of 24-hour races. To get a better idea of exactly what the racing costs I did a quick calculation of what each series charges per minute of racing. Admittedly this all sounds rather geeky and tight fisted but it is surprising what I found…

The Grand Prix Masters costs around £15 per minute whereas the World Sportscar Masters is a paltry £7 (this is based on the entry fee for their races at the same track, over the same weekend). Other popular series come out as follows: The HGPCA – £9pm, Gentleman Drivers – £9pm, Top Hat – £9pm. Throwing a £10 note out the window every minute of racing seems to be the going price.

However, as soon as a well-known name is attached to the race meeting, i.e. ‘Le Mans’ the entry fee suddenly becomes slightly punchier. Even though you get 3 hours of racing for your 4900 euro entry fee, that still means you are paying £20 a minute to test your metal at La Sarthe. Racing on the 24 Hour circuit is something which many of us will never get the opportunity to do, add to this the man-power needed to run a meeting at such a venue and perhaps 4900 euros is a small price to pay?

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