Event Coverage: Honda Indy Toronto 2015

Brought to you by: SYLVANIYA zXe and Canadian Tire

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The Honda Indy is a Motorsports staple here in Toronto, because no other event brings racing right into the heart of the city. While I’ve never had a bad time at the Indy it had been a few years since I had attended and quite frankly I was long over due.

This year I was fortunate enough to get an all access media pass thanks to SYLVANIYA zXe (available at Canadian Tire) as part of their #GreatWhiteLights campaign.

Super excited about the opportunity to get as close as safely possible to the action I wasn’t going to let a gloomy forecast spoil the fun, so I threw an extra pair of socks in my bag, grabbed my gear and headed out for a full day of high octane action.

Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered By Mazda

The Cooper Tires USF2000 series is the starting point of the Road to Indy series, and since the drivers have everything to prove this series is really exciting to watch.

These drivers also had arguably the roughest go of any racers on Sunday, with the rain being relentless all throughout their second race of the weekend. After a yellow flag filled race Nico Jamin ended up atop the podium.

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Jake Edison, the winner of Saturday’s race one, combats the challenging conditions
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Note the dedicated Parka equipped fans
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The rain did begin to lighten up slightly as the race went on, but not before a number of caution laps

Pro Mazda

Surprisingly for the Pro Mazda (the second stop in the Road to Indy) race things dried out briefly, which gave myself and the thousands of fans in attendance a chance to take off our parkas and enjoy the first signs of afternoon sun.

It also meant that the drivers could better push the limits of the tack.

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Not quite dry yet the caution flag did fly a few times as drivers got a feel for the track
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Florian Latorre currently sits 7th overall, and was the winner of race 1 on Saturday
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Garret Grist was the winner of Race 2 on Sunday, taking full advantage of the drying track

Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada

The reprieve from the rain was short lasted, as mother nature decided once again to coat the track in water for the #GT3Can series.

With lots of local drivers making up much of the field this class had the crowd out of their seats.

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Tim Sanderson got bit by the wet conditions part way through the race
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Spun around and stalled out in a scary spot it was a bit of a nail bitter seeing if he could get his car started once more , but thankfully he did without incident
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Florida’s Carlos de Quesada is driving for Porsche Centre Oakville Motorsports

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The track almost looked like one big solid sheet of ice at this point and here Martin Harvey does his best to navigate through it
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Last years series winner, Scott Hargrove returned for this race…
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…and ended up atop the podium. He’ll also be appearing in the #GreatWhiteLights campaign for SYLVANIA Canada & Canadian Tire this fall!
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However Pfaff Tuning’s Chris Green is still the Canadian GT3 series leader

Stadium Super Trucks

I may not have posted them here much before, but it shouldn’t come of much of a surprise that I’m a big fan of Stadium Super Trucks. I mean big trucks that are capable of doing just about anything? What’s not to like?

After watching these trucks race in person I’m about to go dig my Tamiya Stadium Thunder R/C truck out of the closet, convert it to brushless and have a blast!

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As soon as I showed up and saw this in the pits I was stoked

I mean what's not to like about a line up of amazing V8 powered machines

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The wet weather sadly prevented the massive three wheel action these trucks are known for
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But by no means does that mean the race wasn’t fun to watch!
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I wonder how many fiberglass bodies a team will go through in a single season?
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Watching these trucks handle jumps with incredible ease was very impressive
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As was watching Robby Gordon pop his truck up on two wheels as he left the track

A Paddock Pit Stop

A bit damp by this point I decided to head inside to dry off a little bit and check out the various covered attractions.

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This is what Sheldon Creed’s truck after a day of racing, to see the before just scroll up
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Notice just how tweaked the crash bar and mounts are, rubbing is racing!
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The Firestone team was busy preparing both wet and dry tires…
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…though I’m pretty sure most of the slick wrapped OZ wheels sat idle all day
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The wet weather claimed a few prisoners

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Absolute carnage!
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Here’s a quick look at one of the Porsche Centre Oakville cars post race
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Pfaff Motorsports two cars for the 2015 season, Orey Fidani’s Pfaff-Orlando Motorsports gold class car and Chris Greens platinum series lead car
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Located inside the ‘Honda Experience’ this racing simulator looked like a great time, but the line was a bit long for me
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In the pits outside I took a quick look at the hear of Honda’s tandem car that provides fans a chance to go around the track
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Teams scrambled to make adjustments for the conditions as the final race got closer
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Toronto, being a notoriously bumpy track, meant everything needed to be checked over thoroughly

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The Main Event

As if by some sort of miracle the final race of the day was rain free, and 21 of 23 drivers managed to cross the finish line at the end of the hour and 38 minute race.

For this race I bounced between my usual two shooting spots up above and a third one on the opposite end of the track to try and get the best coverage I could.

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13th place finisher Marco Andretti hitting the corner as tight as possible
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12th place finisher Connor Daly
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Juan Pablo (#2) and Scott Dixon (#9) jockey for position
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Scott Dixon was sponsored by Jurassic World and this promotion may have just worked as I’ll be seeing the movie this weekend
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The average speed of this race was 90.4mph and here Takuma Sato is powering out of a corner
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9th place finisher Graham Rahal
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This shot shows just how tight everyone was running and how close everyone’s driving line is
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Joesf Newgarden was the race winner for 2015, with Carpenter-Fisher-Hartman Racing team-mate Luca Filippi taking home second place
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Did you miss this year’s race? Don’t worry it will be back next year!

Thanks once again to SYLVANIYA zXe (available at Canadian Tire) for the media pass to the event. The next event I will be at on behalf of that #GreatWhiteLights campaign is Importfest followed up shorty after that by the Formula Drift Canada World round!

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