After two consecutive 70,000 strong sell-out events and one of the most thrilling final 20 laps of any open-wheel race anywhere in history last year, Chicagoland Speedway and the Delphi Corporation have reached a deal to continue the firm's title sponsorship of the track's Indy Racing League event for another season.

The 2003 Delphi Indy 300 will take place on the weekend of the 5-7 September this year and will be the 14th round of the 16 race IRL IndyCar season. The 18 degree banked turns of the 1.5-mile tri-oval have proved to be perfect for IRL's style of racing and while the track is loathed by many NASCAR fans, it is quickly becoming regarded as one of the IRL's favourite facilities next to Indianapolis and Texas.

"Delphi has been a tremendous partner during our first two seasons and an integral part in expanding Chicagoland Speedway's popularity in local and national markets," said Matthew Alexander, vice president and general manager of Chicagoland Speedway. "In the first two Delphi Indy 300's, we have crowned the 2001 IRL champion and seen the closest finish in IRL history in 2002.

"We look forward to continuing our relationship with Delphi in 2003 and providing more unbelievable IndyCar Series racing at Chicagoland Speedway."

Delphi has been involved in open-wheel racing since 1988. Earlier this year, the company announced it would extend its sponsorship of Kelley Racing driver Scott Sharp and the No. 8 Delphi Dallara-Toyota for the next three years.

1996 IndyCar Series co-champion Sharp earned his seventh career victory last year when he took the chequered flag at the Firestone Indy 225 at Nazareth Speedway. He is the only IRL driver to win at least one race in each season since the inception of the series.

"Our sponsorship of the Delphi Indy 300 not only stresses our belief in motorsports as a proving ground for future Delphi innovations, it also is a valuable opportunity to build the Delphi brand," said William A. Lafontaine, corporate director, media communication and brand development for Delphi.

Delphi's involvement in racing goes far beyond sponsorship. Delphi provides several technologies and engineering support to the Kelley Racing team. Also, as the official electronics provider to the IRL, a majority of IRL vehicles are equipped with several of Delphi's racing products and services, including accident data recorders, track condition radios, earpiece sensor systems, radio telemetry modules, Multec fuel injectors, and connectors, cables and terminals.