IndyCar: Partnership with Apex-Brasil was not renewed

1 Comment

One of IndyCar’s more prominent partners in recent years is going in a new direction.

Apex-Brasil, the Brazilian Trade and Investments Promotion Agency, had been partners with IndyCar since 2008 and used the sport to help promote the country’s foreign trade and investment opportunities.

But IndyCar has confirmed that Apex did not renew its contract with IndyCar at the end of 2014, choosing to steer its funding to other areas instead. Their most recent extension was announced on the day of the 2012 Indy 500.

However, Hulman Motorsports’ chief revenue officer, Jay Frye, said in comments to the Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin that talks are still ongoing with Apex about a possible return “if not for 2015, then for 2016.”

In the meantime, Frye says that four signed partnership deals will be announced in the next few weeks.

“There is a lot in the pipeline, some really good things coming,” Frye said. “There’s a lot of very good activity.”

At the start of its deal with IndyCar, Apex became the series’ official ethanol supplier. But soon after, the company expanded into promoting other Brazilian products. For example, Brazilian coffee was pushed in this 30-second spot, which was a common sight on IndyCar TV broadcasts during the 2010 season:

Apex also served as a personal sponsor for one of the sport’s top Brazilian stars, 2013 Indy 500 champ Tony Kanaan of Chip Ganassi Racing.

The news of Apex’s departure comes just weeks after the cancellation of IndyCar’s original 2015 season opener on March 8 in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia.

The series will instead start its season on March 29 in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Karam, Daly get IndyCar rides with Carlin for Iowa

Leave a comment

NEWTON, Iowa – Sage Karam returns for the second-straight race and Conor Daly is back for another race with Carlin Racing at this weekend’s Iowa 300 NTT IndyCar Series race at Iowa Speedway.

For Karam, it’s his third start of the 2019 season and his second straight with Carlin. In his five starts at Iowa Speedway dating back to 2010, Karam has never finished outside of the top three, recording four wins (USF2000 – 2010, Indy Pro 2000 – 2011 and 2012, Indy Lights – 2013) and scoring his first NTT IndyCar Series podium in 2015 with a third-place finish.

“I’m really excited to be back again this weekend with Carlin and SmartStop Self Storage for the Iowa 300. Iowa Speedway has always been a good track for me in the past, so I’m really looking forward to getting back to work there,” Karam said. “Coming off of a very productive weekend in Toronto, I’m looking forward to applying everything I’ve learned and continuing to work with the team to get the best results possible. A huge thank you to everyone at Carlin and SmartStop Self Storage for a great opportunity to race at one of my favorite tracks.”

Daly is back in a second Carlin entry. Earlier this year, the popular driver finished 11th for Carlin in the DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 8. At Iowa, he will drive the team’s No. 23 Gallagher Chevrolet.

Daly finished 10th in the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge for Andretti Autosport.

Daly raced at Iowa in 2016 for Dale Coyne Racing (finishing 21st) and in 2017 for A.J. Foyt Racing (finishing 19th).

The combination gives Carlin two more drivers to gather additional feedback on the car. Max Chilton remains the team’s primary driver but announced recently that he will forego all oval races to concentrate on street and road courses.

That created opportunities for Karam and Daly.

“We were very impressed with Sage’s steady progression throughout the Toronto race weekend and his willingness to learn and adapt,” said Carlin Team Principal Trevor Carlin. “The fact that he hadn’t been on a street course since 2015 and was still able to come right out of the gate confident and constantly improving every session was extremely impressive.

“The SmartStop Self Storage Chevrolet looked great out on track and their group has been a pleasure to work with, so we couldn’t be more pleased to have them back this weekend in Iowa. Sage has done really well in Iowa in the past, so hopefully we can use his experience and our past success at Iowa Speedway to come away with a good result for the team and our partners at SmartStop Self Storage.”

The Iowa 300 at Iowa Speedway will take place on Saturday, July 20th at 7:15 pm ET and will be televised on NBCSN.