Kelley Racing Makes Deals With Delphi, Toyota Primary sponsor signed through 2005; Team to switch to Toyota power in 2003 INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2002 - Kelley Racing officials announced two deals that will shape its future for the...
Kelley Racing Makes Deals With Delphi, Toyota
Primary sponsor signed through 2005; Team to switch to Toyota power in 2003
INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2002 - Kelley Racing officials announced two deals that will shape its future for the next four Indy Racing League seasons, as Delphi has extended its primary sponsorship of the team's No. 8 car and driver Scott Sharp through 2005, and Toyota has signed Kelley as its initial team for its inaugural IRL season in 2003.
Sharp's No. 8 Delphi Automotive Systems entry also will have AT&T as an associate sponsor this season, while Futaba Corporation has re-signed as a primary sponsor of the car through 2005.
"Delphi's involvement in racing has proven to be extremely successful from both a marketing and product development standpoint," said William A. Lafontaine, director of marketing customer development for Delphi. "We have made several advances with the products we develop and test on the IRL circuit, and we look forward to four more years of progress with Kelley Racing.
Delphi has been the primary sponsor of Sharp's car since 1998, the first full Indy Racing season for Kelley Racing. 1996 Indy Racing League co-champion Sharp has six career victories. He finished third in the series standings in 2001 and also won the coveted Indianapolis 500 MBNA Pole last May.
"Kelley Racing has brought more than successful racing to Delphi," Lafontaine said. "Scott has made several appearances on behalf of Delphi, including being a part of our initial public offering event at the New York Stock Exchange in New York City and participating in our advertising efforts. This relationship will continue to grow both on and off the track over the next four years."
Delphi, based in Troy, Mich., is the Official Electronics Provider to the Indy Racing League. A majority of Indy Racing cars are equipped with Delphi racing products, including engine control modules, accident data recorders, electronic fuel injectors, telemetry radios and other electronic products.
Kelley Racing and Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. have signed a three-year agreement starting with the 2003 season, Toyota's first in Indy Racing League competition.
"We are thrilled to be able to enter the Indy Racing League with a premier team like Kelley Racing," said Jim Aust, Toyota vice president of motorsports. "Not only do Tom and Jim Kelley run a top-notch team, but they also feature two of the top drivers in the sport in Scott Sharp and Greg Ray. We're looking forward to beginning a long-lasting working and winning relationship."
All of Kelley Racing's Toyota engines will be built and serviced by Toyota Racing Development (TRD), U.S.A. in Costa Mesa, Calif., where design work began in January 2001 on Toyota's 2003 Indy Racing engine. The engine will be read for dynamometer testing in February, with on-track testing with Kelley Racing and other teams later this year.
"We're thrilled to partner with a corporation as successful as Toyota," team co-owner Tom Kelley said. "Their business savvy extends from the boardroom to the racetrack, where their list of accomplishments extends across a variety of different series. The combination of our IRL experience with their successful history in open-wheel racing will create a partnership in which we can achieve our goals of winning the Indianapolis 500 and the IRL championship."
Kelley Racing has earned six victories and eight poles since its first full season in 1998. The team's drivers for 2002, Sharp and Ray, have combined for 11 victories and 18 poles during their Indy Racing careers.
TRD, U.S.A. has built championship-winning engines for many series and events since its formation in 1979, including IMSA, CART, SCORE, MTEG and CORR off-road racing, Toyota Atlantic, NASCAR Goody's Dash, SCCA and the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.