The guy who might just be the most Canadian man in all of sports, James Hinchcliffe, has been named as the Grand Marshall of the Honda Indy Toronto, happening this weekend on the city’s waterfront. As most readers will know, Hinchcliffe was seriously injured in a crash during practice for the Indy 500. While his rehab has been going faster than expected, the driver from Oakville, Ontario has been dodging the question “will you be in Toronto?” until today.
Actually, while down at the track today, a couple of people said that Hinch was seen at the track this morning. I was excited to hear the news that he has been chosen as the grand PooBah!
Earlier this week, James sat down with our mutual friend Todd Lewis from Sportsnet to talk about his rehab.
Honda Indy Toronto press release
TORONTO,ON, June 11, 2015 – Organizers of the 2015 Honda Indy Toronto are pleased to announce that local Canadian race car driver and mayor of Hinchtown, James Hinchcliffe, will serve as the Grand Marshal for the marquee Verizon IndyCar Series race taking place Sunday, June 14. Hinchcliffe was recently medically cleared to travel to Toronto.
Hinchcliffe will perform the standard Grand Marshal duties that include giving the famous “drivers, start your engines” command to start the afternoon Verizon IndyCar Series race on Sunday.
“We are very excited to have James as Grand Marshal,” said Charlie Johnstone, President of the Honda Indy Toronto. “Although he is unable to race, it is important to us, and to him, that he is involved in the race in some capacity, being as this is his home town event.”
Hinchcliffe will not be racing in this year’s Verizon IndyCar Series race in Toronto due to injuries sustained during an accident that happened on May 18 during a practice round for the Indy 500. This will be the first time that he will not be racing since he joined the series in 2011.
“I’m looking forward to being back home in Canada and attending the Honda Indy Toronto with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports this weekend,” said Hinchcliffe. “It will be a strange feeling for me not lining up on the grid this year, but being the Grand Marshal is a role I’m honoured to fulfil and I’m excited that I’ll play a role in the proceedings on Sunday.”
Hinchcliffe is expected to make a full recovery from his injuries and is highly anticipating his return to racing.
There is a reason that F1600 has long been considered a key element in any serious open wheel racer’s education. The competition is fierce, which means there is tons of on track excitement for the fans.
F1600 participation has been somewhat lagging in Canada in recent years, until Jason Sharpe took over the series and injected an unprecedented level of energy. Sharpe’s efforts have been rewarded as the Toyo Tires F1600 Championship rolled into the Honda Indy Toronto with an impressive field of 28 entries. The series hasn’t seen a field of this size in years and the drivers put on an incredible show all weekend.
Check out some of the high flying (pun intended) action in this great video from 2 in TO.
July 11, 2011. Sherwood Park, AlbertaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Noel Dowler returned to action in round number five of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series this past weekend on the streets of Toronto. As part of the Toronto Indy weekend Dowler looked to continue his growth and gain more experience at the wheel of the #5 EMCO Dodge on the temporary street course.
Dowler is still getting used to the handling characteristics of these nearly 3,000 pound stock cars and learned the hard way that itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s extremely difficult to slow and stop the cars from about 150 mph on the long lakeshore road straightaway during the only practice session. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I was going too quickly into corner number three and the car went through the corner and into the run off areaÃ¢â‚¬Â said Dowler.
Sadly there was extensive damage to the #5 EMCO Dodge and the team would be forced to spend the rest of the afternoon making repairs and miss the qualifying session. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not so much that we didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get to qualifyÃ¢â‚¬Â explained Dowler, Ã¢â‚¬Å“but I really wanted to get as much time on the track as possibleÃ¢â‚¬Â he stated.
July 10, 2011. David Thorndyke and the #67 Thorsons EVT Chevrolet team came looking for another solid effort during round number five of the NASCAR Canadian Tire series in Toronto this past weekend. The 100 km stock car race was part of the Toronto Indy weekend the team looked to back up their strong showing at Mosport two weeks earlier.
The plan for the #67 Thorsons EVT Chevrolet was simple during practice. Make sure the car was working well, and stay off the concrete walls that line the track. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I just tried to get used to the track againÃ¢â‚¬Â said Thorndyke Ã¢â‚¬Å“and we did thatÃ¢â‚¬Â he added.
The #67 Thorsons EVT Chevrolet did not have a great qualifying run and Thorndyke would start the race from the thirtieth position. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Our plan for the race is always the sameÃ¢â‚¬Â explained Thorndyke. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Take it easy, let the race sort itself out and just run our race, donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t worry about the other guysÃ¢â‚¬Â he stated.
July 10, 2011. Calgary, AlbertaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Jarrad Whissell and the #44 SMS Equipment/Komatsu Ford had a tough start to the weekend during round number five of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series this past weekend in Toronto. On the city streets during the Toronto Indy weekend Whissell would give all he could following a number of setbacks and be rewarded for his hard charge during the race.
During the practice session Friday afternoon Whissell had his hands full with the #44 SMS Equipment/Komatsu Ford. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was very strangeÃ¢â‚¬Â he explained. Ã¢â‚¬Å“First the car was loose, then it was tight and it was very difficult to get a handle on thingsÃ¢â‚¬Â he stated.
With the qualifying session only a couple of hours after qualifying the #44 SMS Equipment/Komatsu Ford team could only make limited changes. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Unfortunately the car still wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t right during qualifying we paid the price for itÃ¢â‚¬Â said Whissell.
Shortly before bed last night I heard that Dean McNulty at the Toronto Sun had reported that the Edmonton Indy was dead in the water. McNulty has been known to jump the gun on occasion. He has also been known to be wrong on occasion. I went to bed and thought nothing more of it.
This morning, I awoke to have a look at my twitter feeds and saw the following gem from Paul Tracy:
“had a real hard time sleeping last night , this edmonton race cancel has f,ed things up for my sponsors”
It has been a long weekend here in Ontario, which sort of explains the absence of any real activity here in The Garage. Lest ye think I’ve been ignoring our readers though, I have indeed been hard at work editing photos of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series at the Toronto Indy. In between gardening, naps and a trip to the beach of course!
Today promises to be more of the same, along with shooting some video of the 2010 Kia Koup R that we’ve got this week. We know that many of our readers have been waiting for some non automotive eye candy, so today we bring you the girls of the 2010 Honda Indy Toronto.
After the break of course.
People are funny in that they always want to point out the negative side of anything anyone else has done. Nowhere is that attitude more prevalent than in the coverage of motorsports events. This past weekend’s Honda Indy Toronto was by no means an exception to this. Sometimes I think that some people want to see the event fail. From what I saw, the event is well on pace to have a revival of its glory days.
Part of what made the old Molson Indy such a huge part of the Toronto summer scene was the fact that there were all kinds of events that drew the public in and got them wrapped up in the hype. This year, organizer Charlie Johnstone’s team planned a full schedule of fun functions around the city in the weeks leading up to race weekend. These activities were capped off with free admission on Friday to re-introduce Toronto to the Indy.
The Andretti family loves Toronto. They love this town and our annual race so much that Andretti Green bought the rights to the dormant Indy race here in T-Dot and have re-branded it as the Honda Indy Toronto. Praises be to whatever omnipotent being you worship, as we now have people running the show that love Toronto, love racing in Toronto and actually have the business sense to ensure that this event stays in our fair city. Enough of my soap box praise, lets get on with the fun stuff!
Indy week in Toronto has always been known for lots of fun events and 2009 is starting with a rodeo of sorts. Michael Andretti will be at the south east corner of Bay & Dundas tomorrow along with a giant, bucking razor. The mechanical bull come shaving device will be on hand from 7 am till 2 courtesy of Shick, while Mikey will be meeting fans, armed with a Sharpie from 11 to 12:45.
On the Thursday evening prior to the race (July 9), the track will shut down for a special charity event. Drivers and celebrities will lead fans around the track on a 3 km walk, 6 km run in support of Shoot For A Cure Moto-Sport and the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation as they unite to find a cure for paralysis. This will be a good opportunity generate funds for the charity while also giving fans a chance to get up close and personal with the stars.