It’s no overstatement to say that motorsport is in a pretty good place right now. F1 continues to ride a wave of popularity with fans, while in WEC manufacturers are positively flocking to the Hypercar class thanks to a rules package which, despite a somewhat painful gestation, has delivered a bit of something for everyone.
The GT3 class continues to be a roaring success and even rallying, at least below Rally1, is attracting new entrants and cars. The end result is, of course, that suppliers are busier than ever. And with new avenues of technology development opening up, there are more opportunities than ever.
But (why does there always have to be a but?), anyone who has been involved in racing for more than five minutes knows it is a viciously fickle and cyclical business. How long, for example, until a manufacturer realizes that everyone can’t be a winner and moves on from the WEC? Furthermore, there is growing pressure on European OEMs from new Chinese entrants to the market, and belts will inevitably need to be tightened. The first casualty of any cost contraction is usually racing budgets.
It is therefore vital that those who rely on racing ensure they are resilient to these fluctuations. Fortunately, there also appears to be growing demand from large manufacturers for the expertise many in motorsport possess. The ability to produce high-quality, small-volume products quickly is an attractive trait and, anecdotally, the giants of the automotive industry are increasingly turning to niche suppliers to trial or develop concepts they may not have the agility to pursue themselves.
This means there are openings aplenty for savvy suppliers. The 2022 PMW Expo showed this, with a host of buyers from road car manufacturers in attendance, all keen to tap into the motorsport industry’s expertise. This is a trend that’s set to grow for 2023. There are many unrealized business avenues for our industry, and now is the time to hunt them down.
This was originally published in the September 2023 issue of Professional Motorsport World magazine