Two rounds of the
World Series look set to benefit from fresh sponsorship deals, with the
of Toronto gaining a new title backer and Houston signing a track sponsor that should enable it complete the upgrades requested after 2006.
Ontario's Steelback Brewery is set to be unveiled as the new title sponsor of the Grand Prix of Toronto, the first alternative backer since rival brewery Molson became involved at the city's first Champ Car race 21 years ago. The deal, which should be confirmed at a press conference later today [Tuesday], is expected to run for five years, and will see the event renamed as the Steelback Grand Prix.
"We knew Molson wouldn't be there forever," Grand Prix spokesperson Shannon Davidson told the local Toronto Star
newspaper, confirming that there had been talks with several interested parties, "This one showed the most interest in terms of leveraging and promoting the event. Someone who could move fast enough definitely played a part too."
Meanwhile, down in Texas, industrial valve manufacturer JAG Flocomponents was introduced as the naming rights sponsor of the street circuit that plays host to the Grand Prix of Houston, which will now be called 'JAGFlo
at Reliant Park'.
Grand Prix officials confirmed that, as a result of the sponsorship, major upgrades will be made to the facility for 2007, including significant improvements to the track surface, which came in for criticism when Houston made its CCWS debut in 2006.
"The support of the business community is vital to the success of our event, so we are delighted that JAG has chosen to make this investment in the Grand Prix," said event general manager Chuck Kosich, "The support of JAG Flocomponents will allow us to make investments in our event that bring us closer to our goal of establishing the Grand Prix of Houston as one of the finest street races in the world."