With the IZOD IndyCar Series' successful season kickoff this past weekend at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, INDYCAR enjoys new and renewed relationships and deeper investments from several of its partners.

AirMed International, the award-winning air ambulance company, has been signed as the official air ambulance of the IZOD IndyCar Series. The fleet of ICU-equipped jet aircraft will transport injured drivers and staff to hospitals in an emergency.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Association also has begun a partnership with INDYCAR, the sanctioning body of the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights, to support the 2011 IZOD INDYCAR World Championships on Oct. 16 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Sunoco, the official fuel of INDYCAR, has expanded its involvement by entitling the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award. The highest-ranked driver based on points will receive a $50,000 bonus.

Awarding the $15,000 Rookie of the Year prize to the Firestone Indy Lights first-year standout will be PerkinElmer. The technology company, whose focus is in the business areas of human and environmental analysis, has for seven years tested the fuel composition at each racetrack to ensure it meets INDYCAR's standards.

AVIS follows PerkinElmer's suit, expanding its relationship with INDYCAR by implementing numerous activation elements in key race markets, with special emphasis placed on airport displays.

"These partners bring great value to INDYCAR," said Greg Gruning, INDYCAR's vice president of sales. "AirMed provides the peace of mind that our emergency medical transportation needs will be met; the LVCVA offers unparalleled promotional and media support for our crowning event, the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships; and the investment in our up-and-coming stars by Sunoco and Perkin Elmer helps the longevity of the sport by recognizing its best drivers."

AirMed, LVCVA, AVIS, Sunoco and PerkinElmer join IZOD, Verizon, Philips and Mattel Hot Wheels in amped-up activation and promotional investments.