Officials of the Cooper Tires Presents the Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda have announced the creation of a new driver prize fund for the 2010 season. Aiming "to expand upon its heritage of being a driver-focused series," series officials have decided to pay out the race-to-race prize money directly to the drivers. At each race, the drivers finishing in the top three positions will now receive $15,000, $10,000 and $7,500 in prize money, respectively, with payouts being made down to 10th place.
This prize fund announcement follows the recent news that the Atlantic Championship has capped the driver cost of participating in the full 2010 season at $495,000. Series officials will ensure that, while drivers will be able to select the team that best fits their needs in 2010, no driver will pay more than the allocated budget cap. This includes all costs of racing with the exception of significant parts damage. The series said that its officials will also ensure that every team offers parity of personnel, equipment and resources, inline with the stated objectives of the series to nurture and grow tomorrow's talent in the most competitive racing environment possible.
“I am delighted to be able to add to the ‘feel good factor' that we want our drivers to experience as they participate in the 2010 ACS season,” said Ben Johnston, owner of the Atlantic Championship. “I feel that not only can we offer the best value for money in racing but I have also budgeted to pay out a sizable prize fund this year. We have an outstanding 12-race schedule for 2010 and we are looking forward to an exciting and memorable year of racing.”
Johnston continued, “We hope that Atlantics will help bring some enthusiasm back into the racing community as we are seen as a true testbed of up-and-coming talent that can be farmed by the world's premier racing series. Atlantics has an unrivaled 37-year success in graduating many of the world's most renowned drivers into these top series and we're excited to see what tomorrow's talent will bring.”