Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Does the Honda Indy Toronto come with snow tires?

Danica's GoDaddy car lifts a wheel around a corner

The tragic 2011 season ending of the IZOD IndyCar series with the death of driver Dan Wheldon was shocking. The loss of life on the track which was filled with smoke, fires and cars flying in all directions made it seem a miracle that no one else died in the chaos that filled the track that day. Hopefully lessons will be learned of the issues which contributed to the accident and that the race series will continue in a safe and exciting manner. The annual Honda Indy Toronto will return, with new DW12 car bodies, to the Exhibition Place CNE grounds on July 6-8, 2012 (and will continue with the Free Friday promotion from the Ontario Honda Dealers Association).
Also former CHAMP / Toronto Grand Prix car driver Katherine Legge returns to open wheel racing in Toronto. Here is a link to Katherine looking at a photo of herself on the front pages of the Toronto Sun in 2006.
James Hinchcliffe

Canadian driver James Hinchcliffe who won the Sunoco Rookie of the Year title in 2011 will continue in the open wheel IndyCar series riding the Go Dady Andretti #27 car, replacing Danica Patrick who now races full time in NASCAR.
Andretti Dr Pepper #26 Marco Andretti car

The Andretti race team which last year included the re-branded Marco Andretti Dr Pepper #26 car. I also hope the Dr Pepper crew will be back with some samples at the track again for much needed refreshment during the long, hot days of summer in the city by the track.

For fellow Canadians Alex Tagliani and Paul Tracy the season may be bitter sweet or not at all. Alex had to step aside from the Sam Schmidt Autosport's #77 car last year to allow Dan Wheldon to race the final in Las Vegas. Dan previously won the 2011 Indianapolis 500, his only run in the regular season, and had he won the the last race while starting in last place he would have split a special $5 million dollar reward with a lucky fan. Instead Dan's car joined a 15 car pileup and landed upside down on the track wall very early in the race ending the life of the 33 year old driver.  The high banked oval in Vegas allowed for little room for error with it's high speeds and cars in such close proximity that even NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson had said that IndyCar belonged on road courses and not the ovals. Alex went over to the Bryan Herta Autosport team and will continue with them during 2012. Paul Tracy seems to want to put the part time racing behind and move to full time IndyCar participation in an all or nothing situation - I hope that he gets the wheels he needs for 2012.
In other IndyCar news the City of Detroit will once again have the IndyCar race running through Belle Isle Park (that's the gorgeous fountain above) during the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix with the event scheduled for June 1-3, 2012. Chevrolet and Penske have teamed up to return the road course race to the beautiful park setting. The Las Vegas track has been dropped in 2012.
NASCAR Canadian Tire Series (NCTS) stock cars seem to be off the Honda Indy Toronto race weekend, although they have an open weekend during the Toronto IndyCar event and Toronto is promising announcements of additional race series at a future date. Maybe they are still negotiating? We can only hope. Who knows, there might even be some more beautiful Budweiser girls this year; it makes me glad they don't run the Honda Indy Toronto in winter - maybe we don't need those snow tires.

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