In a banner week for INDYCAR teams and their respective partnerships, the series continues with positive momentum as many organizations announced new sponsorship agreements.
Announced in the last week, drivers from Andretti Autosport, Chip Ganassi Racing, Dale Coyne Racing and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing each received either new sponsors or were fortunate to have strengthened their relationships with existing partners.
From Andretti Autosport, the satellite No. 98 team led by car owner Bryan Herta and driver Marco Andretti locked in a six-race deal with U.S. Concrete. The deal includes April’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, the entire month of May including the INDYCAR Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the 102nd Indianapolis 500, the Texas Indy 600 in June, Pocono Raceway’s ABC Supply 500 in August and the season finale Grand Prix of Sonoma in September.
For Chip Ganassi Racing, they scored by big securing PNC Bank to primary sponsor four-time series champion Scott Dixon and his No. 9 entry for 2018.
A Pittsburgh connection through and through, team owner Chip Ganassi stated at the February 6 press conference that his first checking account as a youth was with PNC Bank. The company, then a regional banking chain, has now blossomed into a global institution with more than 2,500 branches nationwide.
After the team was left to scrap together any possible sponsorship they could in 2017, Dixon and his No. 9 crew will have the full support of PNC in 2018.
With a creatively-designed blue, orange and white paint scheme, this particular UAK-18 IndyCar is sure to pop at the race track and on television screens in 2018.
Dale Coyne Racing solidified its driver lineup, uncharacteristically, well before the season-opening race at St. Petersburg by announcing that Zachary Claman de Melo and Pietro Fittipaldi will share driving duties in the team’s No. 19 entry this season.
The duo of youngsters will be paired up with veteran open-wheel driver Sebastien Bourdais, who will pilot the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan entry.
Paysafe, a global provider of “end to end payment solutions,” has partnered with Claman de Melo in the past when the Canadian driver got his shot in Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s No. 13 entry at Sonoma last September.
The company stepped up its involvement and will combine to offer sponsorship assistance for not only Claman de Melo, but third-generation driver Pietro Fittipaldi in his 2018 IndyCar slate that includes the Indianapolis 500.
Last but certainly not least, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has flexed some muscle in the past ten days. The two-car effort has bolstered its partnership for the No. 15 machine driven by Graham Rahal, the son of former Indianapolis 500 winner and team owner Bob Rahal.
On January 31, the team announced that international lubricants specialist TOTAL QUARTZ will become the Official Lubricant Partner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Included in the partnership, Total will be the primary sponsor on Rahal’s entry at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Extending on their previous agreement and expanding to a new multi-year deal, United Rentals will be seen on the No. 15 RLL entry more often in 2018. Presumably taking over for former partner Steak ‘n Shake, the rental company will represent the team at the season opener at St. Petersburg, both the INDYCAR Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the 102nd Indianapolis 500 in May, and the doubleheader weekend in Detroit following the Indy 500.
Images courtesy of PNC Bank, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Dale Coyne Racing.