Major changes have been approved by the V8 Supercar board to improve the presentation and marketability of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series.
The board has committed an unprecedented investment into the Fujitsu Series, which will see changes to the way the existing cash prize pool is distributed, tyre incentives, registration fees, team presentation and travel packages.
One of the most interesting initiatives to offset the increased investment that V8 Supercars Australia has offered is that it reserves the right to on-sell signage on the side skirts of all the Fujitsu V8 Series cars.
This means that every Fujitsu V8 entry will have identical side skirt decals.
Not only does this give V8SA a chance to sell the space to a sponsor, but it increases the awareness of the cars and series to the greater public.
Prize money will only be awarded to the top three placegetters at each round at a significantly lower rate than previous seasons ($5000 for first place, $2,000 for second and $1000 for third), however, the whole category will benefit from a new tyre cost package. Teams will pay for their tyres at the first round in which they compete, and receive them free for any consecutive round they enter.
If an entry competes in all seven rounds, the cost of their tyres from Round 1 will be refunded as a bonus payment, meaning that tyres will be free if they contest the whole series.
In terms of presentation upgrades, it will be compulsory for each team to display two tear drop flags and an A-Frame with car and driver details in front of their race track garage. The board has agreed that the first 20 fully paid and accepted entries and 2010 series registrations will receive their flags and A-Frames free of charge.
Also, to assist teams and drivers with sponsorship proposals, a sponsorship template has been created to help teams have the best chance to lure support for their efforts.
The board has also approved a cash travel assistance payment of $750 for all teams competing at the Townsville round.
All of these initiatives are the first real sign that V8 Supercars Australia is keen to see the category prosper.
Team owner Matthew White says that while there might be some disadvantages for the leading runners, the overall benefits will be felt right through the field.
“It's definitely a positive for the sport,” he said
“It's probably a slight negative for some of the front-runners as far as distribution of prize money, but it's not a lot, so really anything that's going to help the midfield and the backmarkers is a positive. There's no point having a race with eight runners in it.
“Side skirts, as far as how much they use there will be interesting. Hopefully their not after the whole side skirt because I've got some pretty good deals along there and ones that are important to us. But again, V8s are being proactive, it's another positive and their sending the right sign out there to people who are on the outside looking to get in. I'm fairly enthusiastic about it all.”