Ganassi inks multi-year deal with longtime sponsor of Kanaan

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Brazilian energy drink TNT will back Indianapolis 500 champion and Chip Ganassi Racing driver Tony Kanaan in a multi-year agreement, the team announced today.

Kanaan has maintained a partnership for several seasons with the drink, which currently serves as one of the top-selling brands of its kind in his home country.

The new pact comes more than one month after Kanaan announced during the Shell/Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston weekend that he would drive a fourth Ganassi car starting in 2014 with main sponsorship from NTT Data. TNT will be associated with that car, the No. 8 Chevrolet.

“TNT first came on-board with me at the end of 2010 and they were the first ones to tell me I would stay in the IndyCar Series when I had no sponsor and no team to race,” Kanaan said in a statement.

“So, I’m more than excited to have them join Chip Ganassi Racing for this new chapter of my career.  I’m looking forward to a strong season with them at Chip Ganassi Racing.”

The energy drink brand is also hopeful that Kanaan’s exploits with Ganassi will lead to growth for its business here in the States.

“I’m excited about the continued relationship with Tony, the opportunity to be associated to such a successful team like Chip Ganassi Racing, and what the future holds for TNT Energy Drink in the IndyCar Series and in the U.S. market,” said Douglas Costa, marketing director for TNT’s parent company, Grupo Petropolis.

Petropolis is Brazil’s largest beverage company and owns the Itaipava beer brand, which has also been associated with Kanaan in recent times.

FIA returns Manor’s F1 entry fee for 2017

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Good news: Manor Grand Prix Racing Limited got a refund of an entry fee it paid to the FIA to run in this year’s F1 season.

Bad news: Manor still hasn’t run this year, and won’t be for the foreseeable future (especially as Manor’s former leadership staff is moving that team into FIA WEC’s new-look LMP1 class in addition to its LMP2 program).

Manor Group’s receivership outfit, Just Racing Services Limited, went into administration earlier this year. As there was no new buyer for the F1 team, Manor dropped from the 2017 grid before the season.

The FIA said it would return its entry fee to help Manor Group pay off outstanding debts.

It basically means nothing in the grand scheme of things since Manor missed out on 10th place in the constructor’s standings in 2016 and fell from the F1 grid as a result, but hey, it’s a goodwill gesture going into Thanksgiving this week.