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AUGUST 19, 2002

A thought for Jacques Villeneuve

CART has just filed its latest quarterly reports which reveal some interesting figures. The company is worth something like $66m based on its Wall Street valuation but according to the accounts it has $136m in current assets, including $128m in cash and short-term investments. It has liabilities of only $30m.

The company is buying airtime on Speed Channel, Fox and CBS and funding the production of programming. In exchange it is selling its own advertising and in the last quarter this has produced 30% more money than last year when the series was being paid fees by the TV channels. TV coverage has cost CART $4.6m so far this year and revenues have been only $2.1m. Other significant costs have been a $3.1m loss on the CART Grand Prix of Chicago and a payment of $1.7m to Chip Ganassi in order for him to run a third car for Scott Dixon. In exchange CART has the right to sell some sponsorship space on the car. This deal is believed to have upset some of the smaller teams which have not received any money from CART.

It is worth noting that CART has agreed to reduce the sanction fees for Rockingham and will also pay costs of $900,000 to ensure that the event was able to go ahead.

Overall the company made an operating loss of $6m in the quarter, compared to a profit of $4.2m last year.

The suggestion that CART might be willing to help pay for Jacques Villeneuve to race in the series next year should not therefore be excluded as a possibility as the Dixon deal in particular shows that money is available if it is needed...