Sunday, June 05, 2011

Honda Indy Toronto 2011 - Events and Location

As Honda Indy Toronto promoters Green Savoree Toronto begins to setup the 2011 'Steets of Toronto' racetrack we can look forward to a lot of great events both in advance of the race and during the exciting race weekend from Friday, July 8th to Sunday July, 10th. I will try to gather all the event information which makeup the 'Festival of Speed' and will continue to update this post and try to confirm details. Keep coming back for continued updates. I picked up my media credentials on July 7th and will provide coverage of the weekends events and races so make sure you keep coming back to my blog. On Friday, July 8th I will go to an Andretti Race Weekend Kick Off Party so I will let you know about all the fun that only a kick off party can generate.

The 2.8km, 11 turn street course began July 20, 1986 with the Molson Indy, which later became the Molson Grand Prix of Toronto and, after open car IndyCar and CHAMP joined together again, saw the start of the Honda Indy Toronto. The main grandstands,  the pits with their 8 second pit stops and start/finish line are in front of the Direct Energy Centre on Princes' Boulevard so the Gold, Silver and Dr Pepper grandstands get to see the drivers, the cars and the race the best of all - unless you are in the suites! They also have plenty of giant screen televisions so you can check out the action around the course from most locations. The Victory Circle is actually right beside the Budweiser Winners Circle beer garden and stage so you can watch the Bud girls then see the winning driver on the podium without having to travel to far. I loved the Dr Pepper Grandstand for their tasty pop and the Schick Hydro Grandstand had excellent razors. Here is a fast drive in a Pace Car around the Streets of Toronto race track.
The main straightaway is Lakeshore Boulevard and the cars get up to their maximum speed along this stretch. The noise and speed provide the inspiration for the name 'Thunder Alley'.
Honda Indy Toronto - Pre-race Events

Thursday July 7: Alex Tagliani at Future Shop Yonge and Dundas, from noon to 2pm.
Thursday July 7: Run, Walk n' Wheelathon at the Honda Indy Toronto track start times 6pm and 7pm.
Thursday July 7: Team Penske drivers will be appearing at the Bay store on Queen Street West between 6pm and 7pm at IZOD department (thanks Alex!).
Honda Indy Toronto 2011 Street Party/Bash 'Race to the Party' Drivers Party? May not happen in 2011.
Pit Stop Challenge? Yep, missed the media pit stop challenge.
Very few events are scheduled off track for the 2011 race week.


8:00 am - 7:00 pmCredential Centre Open
11:30 am - 2:00 pmIZOD INDYCAR Experience 2-Seater Rides
2:00 pm - 3:30 pmIZOD INDYCAR Pace Car Rides
3:30 pm - 4:30 pmOfficial Track Walk
4:30 pm - 5:30 pmFerrari Ride And Drive
7:00 pm - 8:30 pmSam Schmidt Track Walk

Honda Indy Toronto 2011 - Race Weekend Events (gates open to public at 8:00am)

Keep updated at the Honda Indy Toronto schedule of events website.

Practice and qualifying for IndyCar happen Friday and Saturday with the main race on Sunday. IZOD qualifying has three segments - Segment 1; two groups race for 15 minutes each, the fastest six cars advance to the next segment. Segment 2; one 15 minute qualifying group of 12 cars, the fastest 6 advance to the next segment. Segment 3 (The Firestone Fast Six); one ten minute, six car qualifying group. Placing determines the Pole Position Award and the rest of the next six places.

Thunder Alley and the Thunder Stage
Dr Pepper Chill Zones x2
IZOD and IndyLites Paddock
Grandstands, Suites, Beer Gardens and Lounges
Direct Energy Centre and the Support Race Paddock/Garage
Automotive Building/Allstream Centre
Track side/pit access
Motorcycle stunt shows
Starboyz street bike performers
Celebrity Grand Marshall - Dan Aykroyd
Victory Podium/Victory Circle
Concerts stages x2

FREE FRIDAY: No cost entrance sponsored by Ontario Honda Indy Dealers Association. Check out the practice and pit action, walk through Thunder Alley and drink a cold beverage. If you like it, get a ticket for the rest of the weekend.

7:00 am - 5:00 pmCredential Centre Open
8:00 am - 6:30 pmGates Open
8:00 am - 8:30 amCTC Practice
8:50 am - 9:35 amFerrari Practice
9:55 am - 10:40 amFirestone Indy Lights Practice
10:55 am - 12:10 pmIZOD INDYCAR Practice
12:30 pm - 1:30 pmNASCAR Practice
1:30 pm - 1:50 pmVIP Pit Walk-Thru
1:50 pm - 2:35 pmFerrari Challenge Practice
2:50 pm - 3:50 pmIZOD INDYCAR Practice
4:10 pm - 5:10 pmNASCAR Qualifying
4:30 pm - 5:30 pmIZOD IndyCar Series Autograph Session (Group A)
5:30 pm - 6:00 pmCTC Qualifying
6:10 pm - 6:55 pmFerrari Ride And Drive


7:00 am - 5:00 pmCredential Centre Open
8:00 am - 6:30 pmGates Open
8:00 am - 8:45 amFirestone Indy Lights Practice
9:00 am - 10:00 amIZOD IndyCar Practice
10:15 am - 10:45 amFirestone Indy Lights, All Driver Autograph Session
10:20 am - 11:25 amFerrari Challenge Qualifying
11:25 am - 11:45 amVIP Pit Walk-Thru
11:45 am - 12:35 pmFirestone Indy Lights Qualifying
12:55 pm - 2:10 pmIZOD INDYCAR Qualifying
2:15 pm - 2:30 pmNASCAR PreRace
2:30 pm - 3:30 pmNASCAR RACE
3:15 pm - 4:15 pmIZOD IndyCar Series Autograph Session (Group B)
3:50 pm - 4:20 pmCTC RACE #1
4:40 pm - 5:40 pmFerrari Challlenge RACE#1
5:30 pm - 6:15 pm Ferrari Ride And Drive


8:00 am - 11:00 amCredential Centre Open
8:00 am - 5:30 pmGates Open
8:00 am - 8:20 amFirestone Indy Lights Warm-Up
8:40 am - 9:10 amIZOD INDYCAR Warm-Up
9:30 am - 10:00 amCTC RACE #2
10:20 am - 11:05 amFerrari Challenge RACE #2
11:10 am - 11:55 amFerrari Ride And Drive
11:30 am - 12:00 pmVIP Pit Walk-Thru
12:00 pm - 12:15 pmFirestone Indy Lights Pre-Race
12:15 pm - 1:15 pmFirestone Indy Lights RACE
1:35 pm - 1:50 pmPace Car Rides
2:00 pm - 2:52 pmIZOD INDYCAR Pre-Race
2:52 pm - 5:00 pmIZOD INDYCAR RACE, Liver Versus - 85 laps.
5:00 pm - 5:30 pm Post-Race

Beautiful ladies at the Honda Indy Toronto include: Bud Girls at the Budweiser Winners Circle, Hooters Girls, and plenty of models along Thunder Alley.
Bud Pit Crew Girls
Hooters Girls

The Miss Grand Prix has now become the Budweiser Pit Crew Girl Search and the winners will present the trophies to the winners of the Honda Indy Toronto. You can become a Budweiser Pit Crew Girl at the 2011 Honda Indy Toronto by submitting a head shot and one full length photo to by 12 noon on June 30th - check out the rules on the Toronto Sun website. The final ten will compete at a pageant at the Honda Indy Toronto on Saturday, July 9 with the winner taking $1000 and a chance to present the trophy on the podium after the race.

Race Series

IZOD IndyCar - Honda Indy Toronto
Firestone Indy Lights - Toronto 100
NASCAR Canadian Tire Series
Castrol Canadian Touring Car Championship
Ferrari Challenge Exotic Cars

Honda Indy Toronto racing news

Wanting to be a race marshall? Check out MMS until June 23rd.

It's rumored that Danica Patrick will make the full time move into NASCAR and leave IndyCar behind starting in 2012. This could be your last chance to see Danica race in Toronto.

Canadian driver Paul Tracy won in Toronto in 1993 and 2003 and the 2010 winner was Will Power.
Current 2011 leaders in IndyCar are: 1, 2 and 3 - Will Power, Dario Franchitti and Oriol Servia. Alex Tagliani is 9th and Danica Patrick is in 15th place.

The following races remain till the Toronto event. June 11 Firestone Twin 275s, June 19 Milwaukee 225, June 25 Iowa Corn Indy 250 and the July 10 Honda Indy Toronto. The only other Canadian race in this series follows in two weeks at the July 24 Edmonton Indy.

Honda Indy Toronto Maps and Stands

Check out my post showing the various stand locations and the views that they provide.

Honda Indy Toronto Location and getting there

The race runs within the Exhibition Place grounds and onto Lakeshore Boulevard.
1. TTC
          a) Go to Dufferin Station on the Bloor Subway and get on the No 29 bus south to Exhibition Place.
          b) Go to Bathurst Station on the Bloor Subway and get on the Harbourfront No 509 streetcar south to      
              Exhibition Place.                        
          c) Go to Union Station on the Yonge-University Subway. Find the Queens Quay platform and board
              the No 510 streetcar west to Exhibition Stadium.
         d) Go to Dundas West Subway Station on the Bloor Subway and get on the No 193 Exhibition
2. GO Transit
          Take the Lakeshore Line to Exhibition Station (it is just west of Union Station).
          Here is a information bulletin from GO Transit: 
This year the Honda Indy will take place July 8th to the10th, 3 days of fun filled on and off-track activities.
For race fans on July 10th, in addition to our regular hourly Lakeshore line train services, we will be operating extra train trips to and from the Exhibition GO. Lakeshore East passengers will have an extra train departing Oshawa at 11:11 making all stops to the Exhibition, arriving at 12:16, and Lakeshore West line riders will have an extra train to Union from Aldershot at 11:34, scheduled to arrive Exhibition GO at 12:30.  We will also operate additional train trips to you get you back home after the race; an extra westbound train trip to Aldershot from Union will serve the Exhibiton GO at 17:31 and the extra eastbound train to Oshawa will depart Exhibition at 17:30. For details, please visit our What's New page at or click on the link
3. By Car
          From the Gardiner Expressway (don't forget the Jameson Avenue exit is closed for construction) to
          the Spadina/Lakeshore exit (from the east) or Lakeshore (from the west).
          Take Lakeshore Boulevard to Strachan Avenue or British Columbia Road,  or use the Dufferin Street
          Entrance. Don't forget that the race track part of Lakeshore will be closed.
          Parking is limited within the CNE but there are usually several lots open around the exhibition grounds      
          and in Ontario Place.

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