A fan-powered racing team that puts its cars on track through subscriptions from ordinary supporters and support from small businesses has set its sights on NASCAR as its ultimate goal.
YourRacingCar.com is the brainchild of motorsports marketer Hannah James, who funded the fourth-placed finisher in the 2009 Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup entirely on fan support.
For 2010 the team is adding a second car in a second series – alongside the returning Fulvio Mussi in the G50, now paid for by a ‘guerrilla marketing club’ of small businesses, will be BRDC club driver of the year Sarah Moore with a fan-funded drive in the Ginetta G40 Junior Championship.
According to James, speaking in an interview with Brits on Pole, the point of creating the team was to offer ordinary fans an inside view of a touring car weekend that normally is only available to team personnel and deep-pocketed sponsors.
She said working in race marketing “made me realise how much that goes on isn’t readily available to the fans. I wanted people to have direct access to the horse’s mouth. That’s the backbone of the YRC concept.
“The other thing that underpins it is recognising the fans’ importance. I wanted each member to have their name and a picture on the car – as any sponsor would. Logistically, I knew what we were doing was a nightmare for everyone involved – from the engineers to the sticker guys – but it was important.”
Adding a second car has increased the costs and forced an expansion of the concept to include business sponsors – but, again, prices are pitched at a level to include companies that would normally miss out because of the cost.
She said: “The plan for YRC is to head into touring cars. Everything we do is focused in that direction. There is a limit as to how far YRC can reach because there are is a limited active motorsport fan base.
“If you do the maths you’ll realise that with an average of 20,000-30,000 BTCC fans attending each race weekend, raising a touring car budget solely on £15 and £25 contributions is unrealistic. We’ve already launched a new project in the Guerrilla Marketing Club. It’s based on the same principles as YRC membership, involving a large number of small businesses instead of the well-heeled few.”
And where will it all end up? Across the pond, if James has anything to do with it: “The ultimate ambition is to enter NASCAR under British fan power. Now, wouldn’t that be immense?”
To get involved as a fan or as a sponsor, visit the team website at YourRacingCar.com.