Greg Ray and his new Access Motorsports team have confirmed that current associate backers TrimSpa will increase their role to that of primary sponsors for the Indy 500 and the remainder of the 2003 IRL IndyCar season.

Ray, who is one of several co-owners on the #13 G Force-Honda team, will start the 87th running of the Indy 500 from the middle of the fifth row following a successful pole day qualifying attempt on Sunday. Although the 1999 IRL Champion and 2000 Indy 500 polesitter has shown a great deal of pace during the month of May so far, Access only made their series debut last month at Motegi and began practice and qualifying at Indy with only associate sponsorship.

The new team ownership also features Team Manager Ted Bitting, Technical Director Jeff Britton, Crew Chief Jamie Nanny and Crazy Cabbie, a DJ on K-ROCK radio. The team is running the only Honda Indy V8 powered Panoz G Force chassis on the series-spec Firestone tyres.

This is the first time that TrimSpa, a company that specialises in weight-loss supplements, have entered the Greatest Spectacle in Racing and will continue to put their logos on the sidepods of the #13 machine for the remaining 12 events on the 2003 IRL IndyCar calendar.

Ray and his new team will be starting in the 14th position for the Indy 500, sandwiched between Indy legends Michael Andretti and Al Unser Jr.

"I wouldn't be surprised if we were the quickest car out there," said Ray "that wouldn't surprise me. We are here to do that. That means we've got it right, to be an underdog competing with the best of the best, that is very gratifying, very rewarding, and, quite frankly, although we're working so hard and it's so stressful, we're having a lot of fun."

The deal between team and driver was encouraged by Access team member Lee Mroszak, who lost 100 pounds on TrimSpa and set his sights on getting the New Jersey based company on board as a sponsor.

"I did everything I could to lose weight and nothing worked," Mroszak said, "TrimSpa is for real, my entire outlook has changed, and I wanted to thank them." Before getting TrimSpa officially on board, Mroszak put the company's logo on its car, showcased it on Greg Ray's website and on all of Greg Ray's clothing. "Now that it's official, I can't tell you how happy we are," Mroszak said, "hopefully Greg and the team can finish as strongly as I have."

Although the firm are making some of their first forays into motor racing this year, also campaigning their colours in the NASCAR Busch Series, TrimSpa products have been well received in other arenas. Former San Francisco 49er and Three Time Super Bowl Champ Bubba Paris, one of only two NFL players to be fined for being overweight, has lost almost 100 pounds on TrimSpa while professional golfer John Daly, best known as the longest driver (and best mullet wearer) on the PGA Tour has lost almost 30 pounds.

Alex Goen founder and CEO of TrimSpa is excited about their new relationship. "It never ceases to amaze me how many of these stories are out there and after being approached by Lee and hearing his story I thought if he felt so strongly about TrimSpa, certainly the CEO should believe as well, and adding a sponsorship to the Indy Racing League and a cornerstone property like the Indianapolis 500 seemed like a logical step for us.

"You couldn't ask for a better driver than Greg Ray, we look forward to great things from Greg and his team as we move deeper into the season, and gosh what better place to kick things off than the Indy 500."