Atlantic Championship officials have revealed further details of the record purse on offer for the 2009 campaign, explaining the breakdown of prize money on offer for each race weekend.
While the $1m payout for the eventual series champion - and half a million to the runner-up - captured early headlines, the $3m total package of purse and prize money, will reward third place in the championship with double the existing amount, with the new figure standing at $200,000.
The top finishers in each race will also see considerable increases in their payouts, with race winners in the ten single-round weekends earning $50,000 for first place - more than double the $20,000 awarded for a win in previous seasons. The purse for each race on the two double-header weekends on the schedule will be $65,000, as opposed to $130,000 for the single-headers, with $25,000 going to the winner of each race.
The remaining places also stand to pay more, with second place in the single-headers counting $30,000, up from $13,000 last year, and third place $15,000, an increase of $5000 over 2008. Finishers down to tenth place stand to receive a financial reward, with $2000 on offer for tenth spot. The double-headers will reward podium finishers with $15,000 for second and $7,500 for third respectively, with the remaining top finishers receiving half of what they would in a single-race round.
Each race in the 2009 championship will also include $3000 in bonus awards, with the $1000 Cooper Tire Pole Award paying out to the fastest qualifier in each race - as it has since Cooper joined the series in 2007 - and a new $2000 'Hard Charger Bonus' on offer for the driver who improves the most positions from start to finish.
“By restructuring the way we award prize money, we believe that we have created better opportunities for competitors to earn substantial money,” said series executive vice-president Vicki O'Connor, “We feel that this prize package is lucrative enough to not only attract drivers to our series, but also enable them and our teams to offset their costs to participate in the series.”