The cold hard truth about motorsport sponsorship
Motorsport is an expensive sport and it takes a lot of time, money and dedication to make a professional career out of it. The rewards are there, top Formula 1 drivers earn millions of dollars each and every year. V8 Supercar drivers also have great pay packets but the cold hard truth is most of these drivers had to spend a lot of money to get to where they are. So unless you have parents or supporters with an endless bucket of money they are prepared to simply give to you then you need sponsorship.
If you are planning a career as a racecar driver then you will need to factor in years and years of sponsorship support. It can take 4-6 years of going through the levels before you will be in the position to have someone paying you to drive their racecar.
Successful drivers have learnt how to find and keep dedicated sponsors whilst always planting seeds and working on the future for more.
As a professional race driver – you will need $40,000 – $350,000 each year for around 4-6 years to eventually end up getting paid to drive cars.
Gaining this amount of support is possible. Generally this will take between 60-70% of your spare time if you want to do it well. It should be your goal to be presenting yourself as a sponsorship opportunity to a business each and every week.
When you get the sponsor the work doesn’t stop there – in fact you now have to work to keep your sponsor and give them so much value for money they want to come back to you and keep giving you money because they are getting so much out of it. You will need to service your sponsor as well as getting leads and scouting around for more sponsors.
It doesn’t sound easy and it’s not. But for the dedicated few that take the responsibility of sponsorship seriously it can be the difference between a not-so-talented but determined driver getting to the top of the sport or a driver that wins at the drop of a hat, but isn’t focussed enough to do the work needed to make a career out of his dream.
Our next blog post will explain who to target and how to get the sponsorship mindset!
AGI Sport driver Nathan Gotch has claimed the prestigious City of Goulburn Cup as well as securing the 2016 NSW State Formula 3 Championship with one round to spare.
Gotch won the prestigious City of Goulburn Cup in Australia’s fastest motor racing category following a gripping contest with Tim Berryman despite clutch problems relegating him back to fifth place after the start.
Some feisty driving and a well-timed safety car had Gotch back up to second with ten laps to go but the F311 Dallara Mercedes of Tim Berryman proved harder to catch.
Consecutive fastest laps and a brilliant move around the outside of turn 10 saw Nathan take the lead with seven laps left to race.
Lapped traffic in the final lap allowed Berryman to make a gutsy move to regain the lead but Gotch held him off to clinch the coveted trophy.
Gotch also leads the NSW State Formula Championship with enough points to claim the title well ahead of the final round at Sydney Motorsport Park in September.
Nick Rowe takes the round win at SMP to take second place in the 2016 CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship
Jack Smith juggled two drives over the weekend and had a ripper first race in the fourth round of the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship.
AGI Sport have unveiled a two car livery in time for the first round of the 2016 CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship underway at Tasmania’s Symmons Plains next month.
The cars are already sleek and athletic, and the full red livery of the SCT Logistics two-car team is certainly going to stand out at every racetrack around the country.
AGI Sport Team Manager Adam Gotch was delighted to have two cars running under the same banner,
“It’s exciting news that SCT Logistics have come on-board this year to support two young drivers in the Australian Formula 4 Championship. The cars look fantastic in the red livery of SCT Logistics and will certainly stand out on the grid.
‘We tested both Nick Rowe and Jack Smith together in February and the boys both got on extremely well.
‘Nick competed in selected rounds of the F4 Championship last year so will go into this year with plenty of experience while Jack comes to us direct from a National level karting background.
Jack Smith will pilot the #68 car. The young Queenslander is looking forward to getting back on track.
“I feel really excited about running in the Australian Formula 4 Championship, after getting a feel for the car at a few test days last year.
‘I’ve been eager to get into a race for a while now and I can’t wait to see what this year holds.
‘Formula 4 is a great category as it’s compatible with the rest of the world with the use of wings and slicks, and it’ll help me prepare if I’m able to race overseas in the future”.
Nick Rowe has been announced as the second driver for the SCT Logistics team returning to the #97 car.
Nick competed in selected rounds of the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship last year and managed to finish on the podium regularly including a race win at Sydney Motorsport Park.
“I’m super excited to be confirmed for the Australian Formula 4 championship, I can’t thank AGI and SCT Logistics for the amazing support, the cars look awesome. It’s pretty cool to have two cars looking identical, I’m sure throughout the year we can hopefully see both cars on the podium.
‘Hopefully we can have a great year together and win the championship. I’m raring to go and can’t wait for the first round”.
Keeping the cars all equal brings it all down to driver talent with both Nick and Jack both looking promising during pre-season testing.
AGI Sport will announce its full driver line-up for the season next week.
The teams test at Phillip Island on 21/22 March before heading down to Tasmania for the first round of the championship April 1-3, 2016.
The Gold Coast Castrol 600 is some of the most challenging driving for the young Formula 4 drivers so far this year. The track is proving unforgiving with no room for error.
IQ Option Racing driver Tom Grech was the first of the AGI Sport drivers to luck out after a huge hit into a wall left his car unsalvageable. Luckily the carbon fibre monocoque protected Grech and he managed to walk away uninjured.
Grech was pragmatic after the accident. “I just lost control of the car, not so surprising in a place like this, unfortunately we hit the wall. It’s been a massive effort from the team and CAMS to get me into this spare car for the rest of the weekend.”
The AGI Sport team worked hard to the Jayco Dealership ‘spare’ car up to scratch for qualifying. Tom then jumped into the unfamiliar car and pushed out some blistering laps to start front row of the grid in Race One.
“Its probably one of the best circuits I’ve ever been to, having a lot of fun racing around the streets of the Gold Coast.”
Championship front-runners Jordan Lloyd and Thomas Randle soon claimed the top two spots after Race 1 with AGI Sport driver Jimmy Vernon finishing well in the Toolforce Racing car.
“Race one was a really good one for us. I came home in P3, I was in P2 for a little while there but it just wasn’t meant to be.
‘We had some strong pace and I just had a ball out there it was a lot of fun and bagged a lot of points for the championship.
Jimmy was in his element around the Gold Coast streets,
“The street racing is heaps of fun, we did Townsville earlier in the year and we were fast there and we seem to have come out of the box in the top 3 or top 4 this weekend.”
Race 2 proved even more fun for the young Sydney-based driver.
“We led in Race 2 for a few laps there. I pushed really hard and I made a little bit of a gap to start with and it just wasn’t meant to be.
‘The guys behind me had a lot if pace and they caught me and there were a few little things.
‘I got passed by Luis Leeds who then cut the chicane so I think they are looking into it now but I’m not really sure on the outcome of that.”
Penalties will be applied to the final race of the weekend shaking things up into Sunday.
Car Galore driver Will Brown didn’t manage to set a qualifying lap which had a huge impact on his weekend.
“I hit a pretty hard bump down the main straight which turned the ignition off. By the time the truck got there and we worked everything out I was already getting towed in.
‘I probably could have kept going. It was sort of my fault so I let the team down a bit but we looked forward and started off ninth for Race one and got up to seventh.
‘ I didn’t get the best of starts which was a bit disappointing. In that last one we got up to fifth from ninth. Tomorrow we start of ninth and hopefully we can just push forward and get in the top five again.”
Will also had high praise for the gritty racing the street circuit provides.
“I love Surfers Paradise, it’s awesome, the kerbs – you can just smash them. Went great in practice, I think we got fourth in one session and first in the next one, a bit disappointing in qualifying. The racing is so close, its just hard to move through.”
The three AGI Sport drivers will start on track at 11.35am EDST on Sunday with all the action live on Foxsports.
The inaugural round of the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship kicked off under brilliant tropical weather in sunny Townsville, Far North Queensland.
The newest support category to the V8 Supercars placed thirteen drivers on the grid at the demanding street circuit and the racing was a textbook example of the soaring highs and plumbing lows of motor sport.
AGI Sport had committed to a five car entry but a last-minute deal saw Western Australian teenager Nick Rowe jump on a plane to Townsville late Thursday night to drive a sixth entry for the Sydney-based team.
Rowe proved handy in the open wheel category coming from a solid background in Formula Ford and recently contesting the Asian Formula Masters with strong podium results.
Qualifying was one of the most important sessions of the weekend with each driver’s fastest lap setting the grid for Race 1 and the second fastest lap setting the grid for Race 3. The second race made for some interesting track time with a reverse grid of the top six finishers from Race 1.
Toowoomba-based driver Will Brown made the best of it with P3 in Race 1 and 3. Late arrival Nick Rowe managed some handy laps for his first time in the car placing P4 and P7 respectively. A split fuel line on Tom Grech’s IQ Option Racing car meant the Victorian did not make the start grid.
In an exciting first race AGI Sport driver Will Brown managed to improve on his grid position with an excellent start taking him to a lead he managed to hold through a number of safety car sessions. Will makes history as the first ever winner of an Australian Formula 4 race.
He was followed to the chequered flag by late entry Nick Rowe who kept a clear head and a clean nose to hold out the Dream Motorsport entry of Luis Leeds.
Jimmy Vernon steered the Toolforce Racing car to a handy fourth place finish. Jack Sipp finished in 11th spot while Jordan Love recorded a DNF after touching a wall.
The reverse top six grid saw a different style of racing with the young guns fired up and ready to rumble. Jimmy Vernon got off to a blinding start to take the front from Thomas Randle and Harry Hayek.
The signature green Toolforce entry car held the lead for most of the race, again slowed by a number of safety car sessions.
A controversial move by Thomas Randle defending his position from Jordan Lloyd on the penultimate lap sent Vernon into a spin that Queensland teenager Zane Goddard could not avoid, both cars sustained substantial damage. Randle was heavily disciplined for the move with a 30 second penalty.
The revised result placed Nick Rowe second behind Team BRM entry Jordan Lloyd with Will Brown posting a handy fourth place. Jordan Love and Jack Sipp placed seventh and eighth. Jimmy Vernon and Tom Grech were among four drivers that recorded a DNF for the second Saturday race.
The team and engineers worked hard through the night to get the damaged cars race ready for Sunday morning. Jimmy Vernon overcame his intense disappointment to channel a new mindset for the final race of the weekend.
The grid order was this time determined by the second fastest qualifying lap with a consistent Will Brown starting front row next to Jordan Lloyd. Jimmy Vernon was gunning from P3 with Nick Rowe P7, Jordan Love P8, Tom Grech P9 and Jack Sipp in front of penalty magnet Thomas Randle.
Jimmy Vernon kept a level head to steer to third place points behind Jordan Lloyd and Drew Ridge. Nick Rowe collected his fifth place to finish one point behind Jordan Lloyd for the round win with Jordan Love a respectable seventh place in the final race.
Will Brown secured an eighth spot, enough to hand him the third place on the podium for the round. Jack Sipp finished ninth while Tom Grech nursed a damaged rear upright to 11th place.
Team BRM took the round win with Jordan Lloyd flanked either side by AGI Sport drivers Nick Rowe and Will Brown.
Nick Rowe had every reason to be proud of his result. “ It was a great weekend here at Townsville for Round 1 of the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Series.
‘Getting here on Thursday night and being ninth after first practice, the team and I worked hard all weekend and we made a huge improvement to the car during the weekend, and also in my driving.
‘We made the F4 car a rocket ship and I can’t thank the team enough for all the hard work. To get a second on debut is a great feeling and the team and myself are looking forward to taking the next step up the podium hopefully at Queensland Raceway. “
Will Brown was ecstatic with his first race win in Formula 4, “I’ve had a great weekend here in Townsville. Coming into it as a rookie and finishing first in the first race was amazing. We’ve ended up third in the round. The last couple of races were a little bit tougher so we will try and work of them next time.
‘I couldn’t thanks AGI Sport enough for all their help. The CAMS Foundation too, I couldn’t have done it without them, they’ve been a great help. All in all we’re just going to try and push through and see what we can end up with for the season.
‘To come in as a rookie, along with all these other rookies and win the Rookie Award is just an awesome experience. A big thank you to Burson Auto Parts for putting that on”
Attention now turns to more exciting racing on offer at the second round held at a Queensland Raceway, Ipswich July 31 – August 2, 2015.
As the first #F4AU round at Townsville fast approaches, Toolforce driver Jimmy Vernon shares his feelings on the car and the season ahead.
Just weeks away from the first round, IQ Option Racing AGI Sport Formula 4 driver Tom Grech shares his thoughts on the Sydney test day and what lies ahead.
Tom Grech has unveiled his IQ Option Racing livery at the first official CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 team test day held at Winton Raceway during the week.
AGI Sport, BRM and Dream Motorsport gathered under the watchful eye of CAMS officials and Formula 4 Development Manager Cam McConville for a full day of testing at the Victorian track.
Driver Tom Grech was happy to finally get behind the wheel of his own Mygale Formula 4 car.
“It’s been very exciting to finally be able to show the car off for the first time here at Winton. It’s been such a long road to the first test, so those first few laps on track were hugely satisfying for all of us.’
‘Its fantastic to be a part of the new CAMS Jayco Formula 4 Championship with AGI Sport and after completing a full day of successful testing I know for sure we have made the right decision.’
‘We are really excited to take the industry leading success that IQ Option have out and onto the track!’
‘Their in-house design team has also done an outstanding job on the graphics and branding and additionally we have some pretty exciting stuff lined up off track later in the year.’
‘The cars perform as well as they look, we are appearing at some pretty high profile rounds and spotlight will be on so you can’t ask for anything more than that!”
Both Tom Grech and AGI Sport teammate Jimmy Vernon had worked hard to get their cars wrapped and pit garage displays completed in the few days between the cars arriving and the Winton Test.
The cars arrived from the Mygale factory in France just a couple of weeks before the first official test and the teams were working against the clock to have them unboxed and track ready.
AGI Sport team manager Adam Gotch said his team had plenty of late nights ahead of the test but it was all worth it.
“We had a very productive first test with the brand new Mygale Formula 4 cars. I’ve been involved in a number of new car tests with the major race car manufacturers in Europe and there are always niggling issues to begin with.’
‘We worked through the issues with both Mygale and Walkinshaw Performance throughout the day with some ‘fixes’ being introduced before the Phillip Island Test in two weeks’ time.’
‘Our driver’s tested a number of the allowed optional components such as springs and brake pad compounds. All three drivers covering more than 150km’s of testing each.”
Adam was impressed with how the IQ Option Racing livery design looked on the car.
“The Mygale F4 in the IQ Option colours looked brilliant not only in the garage for the launch but also on the track the following day.”
Gotch also revealed there were more drivers taking an interest in the brand new series with the possibility of AGI Sport fielding more than the two cars they have committed to already.
“For the second F4 Test later this month at Phillip Island, we have three drivers scheduled to test for the team. Jimmy Vernon, Tom Grech and young QLD karter Will Brown.’
‘We’re also in discussion with a number of other hopeful drivers for the fourth and final seat with the team.”
Tom Grech was also looking forward to the next test session after getting more comfortable with his dedicated race engineer and mechanic on the car.
“AGI Sport has been fantastic. I’m feeling really at home in the team and the guys are working so hard and putting in huge hours so their commitment is absolutely appreciated”.
The Formula 4 teams will test at Phillip Island and Sydney Motorsport Park before heading into Queensland for the final test at Queensland Raceway. It’s then onto the first round of the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship round at Townsville in July.