Just got out of a press conference in New York where Peter Diamandis and Granger Whitelaw introduced the first team of their Rocket Racing League (RRL), Leading Edge Rocket Racing. Robert “Bobaloo” Rickard and Don “Dagger” Grantham, both F-16 fighter pilots as well as entrepreneurs, founded the team with rocket racing in mind as the next great challenge for fighter pilots, who, Rickard says, will be rendered obsolete by robot vehicles in 10-15 years. That’s Rickard in the flight suit shaking hands with RRL CEO Granger Whitelaw as Peter Diamandis, RRL cofounder and X Prize chairman (left) and Grantham look on.
After putting down their initial $100,000 deposit to secure their place as the RRL’s charter team, they’ll have to come up with $1.1 million more for the X-Racer itself, which is set to debut October 19-22 at this year’s X Prize Cup. They’ll also have to pay $500,000 in fees for a full race season, the first of which is to launch next year. Those prices make RRL team ownership a bargain compared to auto racing, which can cost a team $18 million a year, says Whitelaw, a former Indycar auto race team owner.
Want to own your own RRL team? Nine more slots are open, and the RRL is taking applications. Apply here:
The RRL is also looking for race venues. Two are set–the annual Reno Air Races, and the X Prize Cup, but the RRL is looking for four more venues thorughout the country. If you’re an airport looking to add some rocket powered excitement to your life, fill out a form here:
Finally, you can get a crack at naming the first of the X-Racers, now called somewhat prosaically the Mark-1 X-Racer. The RRL is taking suggestions for names now, here:
The ten best names will be selected by a judging panel in June and posted online for fans to vote on, with the winner announced at the X Prize Cup. Winner gets a year’s worth of free race passes and some cool gear along with the fame and the glory.