IndyCar confirms 2014 Leaders Circle entrants
|By Mark Glendenning||Saturday, February 22nd 2014, 09:45 GMT|
IndyCar has announced revisions to its Leaders Circle programme for 2014 and confirmed the teams that have qualified for the system this season.
The Leaders Circle programme was introduced in 2002 to provide financial incentives to teams that complete the entire season, with each participating entrant guaranteed a minimum of $1 million provided that it successfully qualifies for the Indianapolis 500.
The number of eligible entrants has been reduced by one, with the series having announced a total of 21 for this year.
The list includes 20 cars that earned their place via their finishing positions in last year's entrants points standings, with the 21st spot being granted to the third Penske car being driven Juan Pablo Montoya as part of a deal with the now-absent Dragon Racing.
The bonus payout system has also changed. Previously, the top five finishers at all races aside from the Indy 500 were awarded bonuses, with a win attracting an additional $35,000.
That has been reduced to $30,000 this year, with other payouts also having been correspondingly lowered, however the bonuses will now be awarded all the way down to 10th place.
"The Leaders Circle programme is an important resource for full-time teams in the IndyCar Series," said Derrick Walker, IndyCar president of competition and operations.
"We are looking at ways to continue to grow this resource in the future and further reward our teams for their continued participation in the series."
The winner at Pocono and Fontana will receive a payout of $40,000, with the remaining payouts pegged at the same level as other races.
Additional bonuses are also available at all races aside from the Indy 500 for the non-Leaders Circle entrants, with the top three earning $20,000, $15,000 and $10,000 respectively.
The bonus for the winner will increase to $30,000 at Pocono and Fontana.
Panther Racing is the only 2013 Leaders Circle entrant to have fallen off the list this year.
2014 IndyCar Leader Circle entrants No. Team Engine Driver 2 Team Penske Chevrolet Juan Pablo Montoya 3 Team Penske Chevrolet Helio Castroneves 7 Schmidt Peterson Honda Mikail Aleshin 9 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Scott Dixon 10 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Tony Kanaan 11 KV Racing Chevrolet Sebastien Bourdais 12 Team Penske Chevrolet Will Power 14 AJ Foyt Racing Honda Takuma Sato 15 Rahal Letterman Racing Honda Graham Rahal 17 KV Racing Technology Chevrolet Sebastian Saavedra 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda TBA 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda Justin Wilson 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet Ed Carpenter/Mike Conway 25 Andretti Autosport Honda Marco Andretti 27 Andretti Autosport Honda James Hinchcliffe 28 Andretti Autosport Honda Ryan Hunter-Reay 34 Andretti Autosport Honda Carlos Munoz 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Honda Josef Newgarden 77 Schmidt Peterson Honda Simon Pagenaud 83 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Charlie Kimball TBA Bryan Herta Autosport Honda TBA