how much does an indycar cost

how much does an indycar cost

The number one reason people do not always form IndyCar racing teams is because of the cost. It is not just IndyCar, but motorsport is expensive generally. Other than spending on the team, you also have to consider spending more money on the car, equipment, supplies, tools, and other miscellaneous.

IndyCar will cost you an average of $3 to $10 million to run a team for a whole year. As much as these figures are high, they are nothing compared to what an F1 team needs. The car only can cost around $2 million, and expect the drivers to also demand a high-end salary too.

A number of things can determine how much the team spends on the team and the car. We will look at the different budgets for various segments for you to see how it will cost you to own an IndyCar team.

Preparing for Indy 500

Let us assume you want to get into an IndyCar season, first you have to prepare enough so that you can handle the competition.

You need at least 5 months of preparation. So, start setting up the team as early as April or May. Racing in IndyCar is not just about the chassis and engine, you also need the team and a qualified driver to do the job.

The first person you hire is a Captain. This is a person who understands everything IndyCar racing.

The captain is essential for looking for garage space where the team will be housed to start working on the project. Also, the captain helps to hire the best mechanics and helpers to form the crew.

The captain also knows the rule book of the sport so that you can have the right guide to setting up a team and race successfully.

Here is a video explaining more about IndyCar

Setting Up a Team

If you are going to build a team from scratch, then it would cost you more. The average cost of setting up a racing team is $3 million.

Starting with the captain, expect to pay around $75,000 for the five months you may have him hired. It can be more depending on how much time you need with such a person.

Having a good captain is important as it may determine if you have a good team enough to win a race.

The driver is definitely the most important person for your team. The pay will largely depend on who is behind the wheel. If it is someone famous with a good reputation, expect to pay more.

You will also notice that some crew members are willing to join a certain driver more than others.

With an average budget of $500,000, you should be able to get a good driver for the season.

Building the IndyCar

Putting up the car for the race needs the help of the captain.

The captain’s role is to advise you on where you can get the car chassis, tires, engine, and workshop to assemble the car and, of course, its maintenance too.

The captain is still key in sourcing the right talent to form the crew.

We cannot forget about the license. There is a need to meet the IndyCar regulations before being approved for the license. The team will be assessed for competitiveness and business viability before issuing the license.

The setup process also includes having a lease or purchase agreement with an engine manufacturer. You are looking for a manufacturer who has experience making the engines so as to get a good product.

Another thing to do during setup is to hire a team manager, chief mechanic, driver, and support crew.

Engine Suppliers for IndyCar

Engine Suppliers for IndyCar

When you want to get into IndyCar, you have the choice of choosing an engine from either Chevrolet or Honda. These are the OEM partners for IndyCar.

You have the option of leasing the engines or buying them. The leasing choices are short-month or full-month leases. Expect that both manufacturers would try to outshine each other in terms of speed and power.

This part of choosing an engine should be left to the technical director and team manager so that you have the right engine.

One engine can cost you an average of $225,000. So far, you have spent $800,000 to this point and the race is yet to start.

Tire Suppliers for Your IndyCar Machine

Firestone is the official partner for making tires used in IndyCar races. The company leases 33 tire sets for each team a month. The suppliers do not show their prices, but you should expect this to cost you around $100,000 per month.

So, during the whole season, you can spend over $1,000,000 on tires alone.

The options for tires from Firestone include street courses, road courses, and ovals. In case you need softer tires, you can get them from the brand still. The softer tires are mostly for quick cornering, but they do wear faster.

IndyCar Chassis

Now that you have your tires and engine, next is to get a chassis to start assembling the machine.

You will not have to deal with many options for a chassis. The only option for IndyCar is the Dallara DW12 chassis.

A new chassis will cost you around $350,000, while a used one can be $300,000.

If you were tracking our expenditure so far, we have reached $1,250,000 already.

Getting a Workshop

You need a place where the team can start working on the Indycar machine. Most companies would just lease one for the season rather than buying a workshop. It should save you quite a lot.

A sizeable garage or workshop can cost $4,000 per month as rent. It depends on how long you will be renting the workshop.

Cost of Entering Indy 500

IndyCar entrants would have to pay a fee of $2,325. This includes the credentials of the 25 team members. You also have to add another $21,000 for garage space, race modes, fuel services, parking, and other services. Having a good team manager would help guide you better through these essential costs.

Recruiting the Support Staff for IndyCar

Recruiting the Support Staff for IndyCar

The crew you hire will be people who specialize in doing different tasks. The crew members expect to be paid higher salaries since they will mostly be specialized talent. Leave the job of hiring the new crew to the team manager.

What are some of the people you will need as part of the crew? They will include;

  • Technical director
  • Lead engineer
  • Assistant engineer
  • Front end mechanics
  • Read end mechanics
  • Crew chief
  • Gearbox mechanic
  • Fabricator
  • Sub-assembly mechanic
  • Shock absorber specialist
  • Spotters
  • Data acquisition engineer
  • Public relations person

There can be more depending on your needs. Paying for this team during the racing season comes to around $250,000.

Here is a video of how the crew gets trained to ensure they are good at their job


What other components do you need for an IndyCar machine?

You will need several components to finish setting up the car. They can include turbos, clutches, brakes, shock dyno, data logging system, gears, and so much more.

How much does it cost to test an IndyCar machine?

Once the car is ready, testing is necessary. It will cost you around $125,000 to do the testing, including the simulator and tracks.

What fuel type does IndyCar use?

The IndyCar series mostly used E85 for racing purposes. This fuel type contains 85% ethanol and also 15% high-octane racing.

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