A mega $250,000 will be up for grabs in the inaugural 2019 TCR Australia season.
The enormous prize pool was created as way to provide assistance to the series’ teams and help the commercial sustainability of the some of the country’s emerging drivers as they pursue opportunities within Australia and beyond.
The announcement follows the Australian Racing Group’s landmark live and free broadcasting agreement with SBS, with the company’s director Matt Braid confident of the category’s rise and potential financial influence on the sport.
“Prize money in motor sport is something that Australian circuit racing has never really done well,” Braid said.
“This is a landmark announcement – revealing to the public these significant figures is something that doesn’t often happen – and we are very pleased to be bold and push the traditional boundaries.
“The $250,000 total prize pool is a big statement from the Australian Racing Group. We want to do motor sport differently, and this is just one of the first steps.
“This is fundamentally about re-investing in the sport to ensure it remains a sustainable pathway for those choosing motor sport as their career.
“While the overall prize pool is significant and there are, as always some conditions that need to be met to ensure eligibility, but this is all about investment in the future of our competitors that could help sustain a career, or drive it further in the future.”
In the inaugural season, the historic winner will win a whopping $100,000 to put towards their career, while second and third place will receive 50,000 and $25,000 respectively.
The special Michelin Cup for privateer entries will also receive a piece of the prize pool, with the winner picking up $25,000.
With the program also offering an opportunity for a selected ‘emerging talent’ to compete on the global TCR platform, Garry Rogers Motorsport’s Barry Rogers believed the series has a lot going for it from both a financial and development point of view.
“This is one of the reasons why Garry Rogers Motorsport has been very keen to be involved with TCR Australia because we know how passionate and dedicated the Australian Racing Group is to the sport, its teams and competitors,” Rogers said.
“You can not base your whole racing program around the lure of prize money, however, it’s a great incentive for the drivers and teams to work towards.
“It could also be the difference between a driver or team continuing their journey, rather than falling into the financial traps that we so often see.”
Managing Director of Melbourne Performance Centre Troy Russell also saw the positives in competing in the series.
“This is a great initiative from the Australian Racing Group for TCR Australia,” Russell said.
“This is something new to Australian motor sport and it is going to help young talent further their career.
“Prize money is a great incentive for teams and drivers, however, it shows that the powers behind TCR Australia are committed to the class and they are investing in its future.”
Just over two months remain until the series’ first round and the interest has continued to grow as five eligible TCR Series manufacturers have already been confirmed.
Hyundai, Honda, Audi, Volkswagen and Alfa Romeo will all be represented on the grid when the series heads to Sydney in May as part of the Shannons Nationals.
The TCR Australia Series will make its debut on 17-19 May at Sydney Motorsport Park and will be broadcast live, free and in HD on SBS.