Racing Is Expensive

Racing is expensive. Get over it.

Does it need to be as expensive as it is? Of course not but it’s a difficult balancing act.

For any SuperBike round you need rubber, lots of it. The regulations permit a total of eight front tyres and eleven rear tyres for each round. Some might be qualifying tyres, others wet or intermediates with the rest being whatever is required over the weekend.

At £222 a pair it’s not cheap, in fact it’s very close to the trade cost that any dealer can purchase them at, but they don’t have to pay for a team of people support the racing and fit tyres to the never ending line of wheels over the race weekend.

MSVR who run BSB events have done well to reduce the fuel cost for 2011. The 2010 price was £3.79/L, or with the recent tax hike £3.87/L. Having said that why are racers still obliged to pay £3.59/L for the control race fuel?

Sure there is a cost associated with delivering it to the circuit and making it available in 25L drums but, after a back to back test at the end of the 2010 season, the 98 octane fuel from the local garage was found to offer a negligible power increase at a significant 40% of the cost.

With three practice sessions, qualifying, warm up and two races a SuperBike has a lot of track time. That’s a full quota of tyres and around 125L of fuel. That comes to £449 plus the £2154 spent on tyres.

That’s just the cost of the bike out on track. How about the wages for the team manager, the suspension and data technicians, the truck driver or the guy that sorts and manages the tyres? Not forgetting the crew chief and the two mechanics needed for each rider.

One team we raced against last year said their biggest expense for each weekend was the hotels and catering required for their small team.

Pretty soon you start looking at the cost of fuel and insurance for the truck, the public liability insurance for the team, the workshop and dyno facility, etc.

Perhaps the cost of actually building the bike isn’t the most significant part of the budget…

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