V8 Supercars' $12 million price tag
WANT to put your favourite car brand's badge on the front of a V8 Supercar?
You'd better have a spare $12 million sitting around if you do.
Chrysler Australia has revealed a tantalising glimpse into the behind-the-scenes battle to get more car makers to join the previously two-make series from next year, including revealing the price of admission to Australian motor sport's most exclusive club.
The US brand's Australian chief executive, Clyde Campbell, revealed to Drive that talks with an unnamed V8 Supercars team about entering a Chryster-branded vehicle in the all-new competition starting next year had involved a funding injection of "about $12 million".
Nissan, the only new car maker so far to confirm its entry on the V8 Supercars grid next year, has refused to elaborate how much it paid to Kelly Brothers Racing to develop a race car wearing the Japanese brand's badge, other than to say it was a "substantial investment".
According to V8 Supercars boss Tony Cochrane, from next year the starting grid has room for up to five makes to compete alongside traditional rivals Ford and Holden. So far only Nissan has committed to the series.
Its backers claim the series is currently worth about $135 million a year, however adding more brands to the competition is expected to generate more interest as it attracts fans of other makes that have not featured since the mid-1990s.
According to Chrysler's Campbell, the car maker has not yet seen a compelling business case that will attract it into motor sport in Australia.
He says Chrysler's performance tuning arm, Mopar, had not been part of the discussions.