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Ingall considered Supercars team ownership

Simon Chapman

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Thursday 19th November, 2020 - 2:00pm

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Russell Ingall

Russell Ingall says he considered Supercars team ownership following his retirement from full-time competition but believed the investment was too costly.

Ingall’s full-time driving career in the Supercars Championship began in 1996 under Larry Perkins’ team, Perkins Engineering.

There he stayed until 2002 before joining Ross and Jim Stone at Stone Brothers Racing where he claimed his sole title success in 2005.

His full-time career continued through to 2014, retiring at the season’s end before taking up a position as part of Fox Sports’ broadcast line-up as well as co-driving in 2015 and 2016.

Speaking on the latest Rusty’s Garage podcast, Ingall said he pictured himself transitioning into team ownership before becoming a pundit for the Supercars broadcast.

Ultimately, Ingal said the cost of the championship was prohibitive and remains as such.

“I always pictured myself doing that over doing what I ended up doing with Fox, to be quite honest,” Ingall told host Greg Rust.

“The biggest issue at the moment, and I don’t think I’m on an island here, it’s just how the costs of running a team have escalated.

“To me, I can’t make the numbers stack up. At the end of the day I’ve fought too hard to get what I’ve got and I’m not going to give it away in a race team.

“I would love to do it, and believe it or not, probably one of the only things myself and Mark Skaife agreed on behind the scenes is that we both agree there’s not enough racers owning race teams.

“What I mean by that is like the Garry Rogers or the Larry Perkins – proper race drivers – they (Supercars) need more of that.

“But on the flip side, anyone who is a real racer realises, ‘I’m not going to be doing that because we’re going to be going through money like water’.”

Ingall said he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of team ownership, whether that be Supercars or otherwise, but said investing in the V8 category would be unlikely in its current guise.

Even with the advent of Gen3 in 2022, Ingall said more cost-cutting measures need to take place before he could seriously consider joining the category in an ownership capacity.

“Who knows down the road? It may not even be Supercars, I think something like TCR, I think that’s a lot more affordable,” he said.

“But I think if you’re talking Supercars in particular, man it’d have to become a lot cheaper.

“I don’t think (the cost cuts), from what I’m seeing at the moment, is enough. You know, 20-grand here, 30-grand there, not enough.

“We’re talking hundreds. We’re talking millions basically it has to come back to to run a team. For two million, 2.5 million, that’s what you’re looking for. I can’t see how the teams now are doing it.

“Paul (Morris) has said exactly the same thing. He said if it came back to how it used to be where you could run a team out of Norwell and be competitive, yes, but in today’s environment, there is no way you can do that until you bring it back.

“I don’t think myself or anyone else would get involved unless you’ve got a rich dad or a rich backer or you’re wealthy yourself. If you want to get the true racers back into it, you’ve got to make it affordable.”

Ingall said Supercars is headed in the right direction with the advent of its Gen3 regulations; however, he believes the category hasn’t earmarked enough cost-cutting measures.

Supercars has tendered for a controlled pedal box, brakes package, fuel system, and wheel in an effort to cut development costs to teams.

“Predominantly it’s still too expensive, it’s still too prohibitive in who can afford to own a team,” said Ingall.

“So no, I don’t think they’ve done enough. I don’t think they’ve done near enough.

“Having a controlled pedal box or a couple of trinkets, it’s not enough. It needs to be a serious axe; controlled engines, crate engines for sure. That cuts hundreds of thousands off the bill.

“I don’t think they’ve done enough, not unless there’s more in the wings. I’m not liking what I’m seeing at the moment.”

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