Perhaps both? Andretti Autosport announced a unique opportunity for a well-heeled IndyCar fan, the chance to own the Ryan Hunter-Reay’s 2015 DW12 chassis, season-long credentials and hospitality passes, and individual credentials and passes for four of your best mates for the 2018 IndyCar season. The catch? You don’t get the chassis until they’re done with it in 2018, what’s left of it anyway. Marshall Pruett broke the news of the unique auction and opportunity today over at Racer.com, and my first reaction was that it was a clever way to gain value from hardware that will become obsolete. Upon further reflection, it sounded more like a motorsports version of a reverse mortgage and a sign of desperation.
Rumors of financial struggles at Andretti Autosport have been around for a while, but then it seems that all of the teams throughout motorsports unless you’re Penske, Mercedes, Ganassi, or Ferrari have been faced with growing financial challenges. Such is the nature of motor car racing, I suppose. In the end, perhaps it is a clever marketing method to address an increasing desperate cash crunch as IndyCar continues to search for how best to market itself. As Stefan Johansson said in an article over at NBC Sports, “But as I’ve said so many times, unfortunately the IndyCar people don’t seem know what a great product they have and they certainly don’t know how to market it.” Andretti Autosport may have a great way to raise more capital while not having to relinquish anything of significant value until the equipment is obsolete, but it is merely treating the symptom rather than the fundamental problem with the value and return on investment for IndyCar sponsorship.
If you had $600-700k, would you place a bid? As big of an IndyCar fan as I am, I don’t think I could pull the trigger on the deal. $600k will buy a lot of rally tires!