Thursday, July 07, 2011

Final setup underway for Honda Indy Toronto 2011

The IZOD IndyCar crews have filled the Paddock and Pit Row and they are working on their race cars in advance of the start of the Honda Indy Toronto 2011 weekend. Pit row is full of mobile command centres, fuel tanks and tires. Beer is being chilled and the Bud Girls are getting ready for the contest on Saturday.  The only real action on the track is from rides in two-seat IndyCars (picture at top and passing by Princes' Gates below) and the Pace Car rides.
I have already seen Ryan Hunter-Reay and Dario Franchitti in the press building (Allstream Centre).
Ryan Hunter-Reay
Dario Francitti, 2009 Toronto winner, 2010 IndyCar Series Champion.
Scott Dixon and Dario Francitti's paddock area and big rigs transports.
The big rigs are squeezed tightly into place and pieces of race cars are neatly placed on racks to allow mechanics access to the vehicles. Some teams have multiple trucks and paddock areas and the equipment and setups are very impressive - the Paddock tours are full of interesting sights.
Canadian driver James Hinchcliffe, above, gives an interview and smiles about moving from the Lights to the full IndyCar series.
Danica Patrick meets with the media

Danica Patrick will meet with the media at 3pm and it is always a treat to see her. I imagine the discussions and questions will try to determine her intentions for racing next year's season. Continue with both series or favour a potentially more lucrative year with NASCAR and give up IndyCar. The subject does not come up and she is probably glad not to have to talk about the elephant in the room. She does say that Toronto is the best road course race of the year with a great long straight away that leads to passing.
Later Will Power, above, makes it through Canada Customs and a long journey to Toronto through cancelled flights and lost luggage to sit in a press conference and discuss the upcoming race. Will is the defending 2010 Toronto race winner and he notes that survival is the key to this race - best to be out front and avoid all the carnage and destruction. His mild concussion has been checked and he feels fine now. The ability to be able to move up the field during the race means that the qualifying position isn't as important to this race as it would be at other tracks.
Speaking of NASCAR the Canadian Tire Series (NCTS) drivers have joined the touring cars and the Ferraris in the support series paddock in the direct energy Centre. Number 27 is Quebec driver Andrew Ranger.
Thunder Alley and the beer gardens continue to get ready for race weekend and all the fans which will start to fill Exhibition Place on Free Friday and into the rest of the weekend.
Pit row before the intense action.

See more Honda Indy Toronto 2011 pictures pre-race weekend pictures after the jump.

A bank of portable radios wait on pit row.

IZOD IndyCar Paddock

More two seat race car rides

Crossing in front of the Turn 1 Suites.

NASCAR CTS Paddock in the Direct Energy Centre.

The Canadian Armed Forces has a display on Thunder Alley and the soldiers take a break on Thunder Alley Stands, above. Thunder Alley booths are being readied as well. I look forward to scoring a Schick Hydro razor and seeing girls of Honda Indy Toronto 2011!

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