30 May 2024 | General

Trico Trans Am Series Introduces MPI ‘Up on the Wheel’ Award

The Trico Trans Am Series welcomes MPI, a world-class producer of motorsport equipment, as a series partner ahead of this weekend’s fourth round at Shell V-Power Motorsport Park.

Established in 2009, MPI (Max Papis Innovations) is a global leader in the design and manufacture of steering wheels for motorsport applications.

MPI’s founder, Max Papis, competed in elite open wheel, stock car and sports car racing during an accomplished driving career of over two decades. Papis is best known for his achievements in IndyCar racing, as a 3-time race winner in the highly competitive Champ Car era.

Trans Am’s new partnership with MPI will see the introduction of the MPI ‘Up on the Wheel’ Trophy – a new award designed to recognise the driver who gains the most positions during a Trans Am round, based on starting and finishing positions in each race. A unique, scale version MPI steering wheel trophy will be presented to the award winning driver at each round.

The award has also been handed out retrospectively for the three rounds already complete, with Tom Davies gaining the most places at Sandown, Nathan Herne at Symmons Plains and Ben Grice at Phillip Island.

Additionally, MPI will produce two custom steering wheel trophies at season’s end for the Trico Trans Am Series Champion and ‘Wheelman of the Year’ – the driver who accumulates the most positional gains over the course of the season. MPI branding will feature on the rear quarter windscreen of all cars competing in the Trico Trans Am Series.

Since 2023, MPI products have been sold exclusively in Australia by CoolDrive Auto Parts and Racer Industries.

MPI has designed and manufactured bespoke steering wheels for Chip Ganassi Racing in the NTT IndyCar Series and Hyundai Motorsport in the FIA World Rally Championship, as well as control specification steering wheels for the Supercars Championship and the current Audi RS 3 LMS TCR car.

Max Papis, Founder of MPI
“Our partnership with Trans Am in Australia, alongside our ongoing relationships with the Supercars Championship and Excel racing, are pivotal for our expansion and commitment in Australia.

“By providing high-quality equipment and recognising driver achievements, we aim to enhance the racing experience at all levels.”

Nestora Strintzos, General Manager – Commercial & Partnerships of Australian Racing Group
“The Trico Trans Am Series is proud to be associated with MPI and, with its support, facilitate unique and meaningful trophies for the drivers in Trans Am.

“As a brand founded by Max Papis – a true ‘racer’ who earned success and respect competing in the highest levels of world motorsport – MPI produces motorsport equipment that is designed by drivers, for drivers, and is an appropriate partner to acknowledge the competitors who race hard and smart through the Trans Am field.