Former Alpine boss behind $100m bid to revive World Cup of Motorsport

Sam Cooper
Marcin Budkowski. Zandvoort, Netherlands. September, 2021

Marcin Budkowski. Zandvoort, Netherlands. September, 2021

A group of executives are seeking an investment of $100m to revive A1GP which was also known as the World Cup of Motorsport.

A1 Grand Prix first launched in 2005 and while it followed many of the same rules and regulations as other series, the key difference was that teams represented countries rather than brands.

The series ran during F1’s off-season but came to an end in 2009 following financial difficulties.

But, having remained dormant for over a decade, there are reportedly now plans to revive the series with executives seeking a $100m investment according to Sky News.

Exactly who is behind the bid is still a mystery but Sky reports that former Alpine executive director Marcin Budkowski is amongst those involved. Budkowski spent five years at Renault/Alpine having previously worked for the FIA, McLaren and Ferrari.

Budkowski is not the only former F1 member linked to the project with former McLaren, Sauber, Tyrell, Jordan, Renault, Toyota and Lotus engineer Mike Gascoyne enlisted as an advisor.

Away from F1, Sir Keith Mills, who was the architect of London’s successful 2012 Olympics bid, is part of the group as is former global president of the French media giant Lagardere David White. Its commercial operations will be led by an as-yet unnamed executive, according to Sky.

Sky also report that a number of deep-pocketed investment funds and individuals have already expressed interest in financing the project. The executives will reportedly work with Origin Sports Group, a sports investment firm whose previous successes include the America’s Cup World Series and the Invictus Games.

If the investment stage is successful, 20 teams will represent countries from around the world with each car matching a single specification,

Sky reports that the potential cars will reach speeds of 350kph, potentially making A1GP the second-fastest motor racing series in the world behind F1.

The cars would also use sustainable fuel in recognition of growing environmental concerns. recommends

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The teams would be composed of one experienced racing driver, and one younger competitor who would be selected through an annual talent competition that could itself be televised.

The series could reportedly feature teams from Britain, China, Italy, Saudi Arabia and the USA with talks with car and engine manufacturers already underway as well as a working prototype already built.

In terms of when this new series would run, it would follow in its predecessors’ footsteps and take place primarily during the F1 off-season in order to not compete directly with Formula 1.

The series would take place across 12 races in Europe, North America, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia-Pacific between December and July. Sky also report that the series expects to minimise air freight costs for both financial and environmental reasons. In terms of fans, ticket prices would reportedly be low.