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Andy , just over twenty years ago a High School buddy was prepping a Bultaco 360 for vintage motorcycle road races and asked me to ride. We were hooked up with his co-worker who was a native of Daytona Beach and even managed a 3rd place in GTO at the 24 hrs. I will never ever forget what he told me "RACING IS A RICH MAN'S SPORT"

Every time I hear or read something asking why a more deserving driver doesn't get a break I remember those words , this is business.

I can remember sitting on the grid at Willow Springs with my 8 yr old Honda 125 GP bike looking at the pole sitter who's team owner had imported a top flight World GP level Honda. He had a 45 HP bike while the rest of us were on 30 HP club level bikes....even the former Japanese National Champ.....one rider complained they bought the win , yeah and we all would have done the same if we coould.

At an SCCA club race ten years later I'm in a Showroom Stock C Miata......who should pull into the paddock?? The factory Mopar guys with the fastest Dodge "stock" Neons ever seen. How did the driver get this ride....he was a Chrysler VP

David Coultard's father paid Frank Williams 600K so David could be a Williams test driver.

NASCAR teams now hire former champions because they get a gaurented start in the first five races. New NASCAR teams buy "numbers" for the same reason.

Why do I have my road race ride....because I paid for it and do all the work on the car, as the owner driver I know of a very fast Karting kid that would be faster but he doesn't fill my needs as the "owner" of the car. (this is my usual absurd simplification but you get the point)

There is simply no such thing as a "deserving" driver. Drivers are hired because the fit the teams needs best, same as mechanics and sponsors.This is the cruel truth.

Tom
 

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Andy consider this: I sometimes work at the local Kart track during IKF events. We have 6 kids whose parents are spending $40,000 to $80,000 a year on 8-10 yr old Karters. One of those kids wants a career in Motorsports and appears to have the talent, his folks will spend $125,000 this year he is now 14. If he does have the talent his folks will need another $500,000 minimum for him to succeed.
Now back to Pat, we all would love to see him in WRC and even if RA or NASA had a year end bonus to get him to Mexico.....that one appearance in Mexico still wouldn't do it. Also how many mechanics and other people are employed by lease rides. So while I hear people in all forms of motorsport lament the number of lease ride drivers , these guys employ a whole lot of people.
With all due respect if you want a sport where raw talent alone is how a guy makes it I suggest you start watching track and field or Basketball. Racing requires money , everyone on this site who as raced any length of time as been beaten by someone with less talent and more money.....it's a rich man's sport. Subaru has put a lot of money into Rally in the US at all levels from Rallycross to factory efforts.

Tom
 

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FMF: It is about money as much as talent. Americans are not into Rally, the forms of motorsport Americans are into budget is a major factor in their success. Even in the almighty NASCAR where a guy can buy a spec racer it will still cost him 12K for the car and at least 10K more to run it properly at the local level....how many people here have 22K a year for local racing???

Andy in my opinion one does not go to world rounds to judge themsleves against the competition , you go to compete. With that said yes perhaps it would be nice to see the season champion get a ride at Mexico as a bonus for that championship.

As for Rally being the sport where one can do more with less I'll repscetfully disagree. The only motorsports where one can remotely stretch a budget and use their talent to shine is Motocross.....check Bubba Stewarts bio. A talented rider can win on a $6000 motorcycle and get noticed.

Racing of any kind is the most unfair and cruelist business there is , it is worse than trying to make it as an actor. I've said it many times Racing is a wonderfully hobby and a horrible business.

Rally is a wonderful sport but there is no Olympic ideal here , Subaru has sold lots of cars off of Rally but they have also put a lot in the sport and isn't that what a relationship is about.

Tom
 
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