Monday, May 21, 2012

IndyCar drivers in #Toronto May 21, 2012

@HondaIndy brings (l-r, above) Jean Alesi, Alex Tagliani and Simon Pagenaud to Toronto after the Indy 500 Bump Day to meet the media and visit with fans on Monday May 21, 2012. Joining the drivers will be Charlie Johnstone, VP and GM of Honda Indy Toronto. You can see them at Wayne Gretzky's at 99 Blue Jays Way from 3:00-4:00 pm and get autographs, enjoy a Q & A session and have a chance to win prizes.
Media surround the drivers
The drivers and their teams are: Alex Tagliani, Team Barracuda - BHA, Simon Pagenaud, Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports and Jean Alesi, Lotus – FP Journe-Fan Force United.
Alex Tagliani: Known as Tag, born in Lachenaie, Quebec the driver started at the tender age of 10 in karting. Stints in several race series including Champ Car and the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series before joining IZOD IndyCar in 2008, with a full time ride in 2010. Signing with Team Barracuda - BHA in 2012 he will sit in row 4 qualifying 11th in the 96th edition of the Indy 500. The photo above shows Alex after he followed me on twitter!

Following problems with the new Lotus engines (his first three engines blew - he didn't even make it 50 feet in the last race) he has moved back to Honda engines and feels that his season now starts fresh with the 2012 Indy 500. He really enjoys the variety between street course and ovals. He is still getting used to the new chassis and notes that several kit cars will be coming into the game in a couple years.

In regards to sponsorship he told us of working with a Quebec company to develop Tag on the go line of products that are nut and peanut free (to which he is severely allergic). During the week leading up to the 2012 Honda Indy Toronto Alex will drop by the Maple Leaf Garden Loblaws on the Thursday to launch his new cookie in Toronto. I asked him if he had a razor sponsor because of his precision goatee, he is just perfect for Schick in Canada.

We also talked about the support he gets from his wife Bronte who is found in pit row during practices and qualifying periods. Bronte also does a lot of work for CARA Charities.

Simon Pagenaud: Born in Poitiers, France started with IndyCar in 2007 and became full time with Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports in 2012. He has qualified for his first Indianapolis 500 sitting in the row 8 at number 23. Also competed in Champ Car, World Series and European Formula by Renault.

Jean Alesi: Born in Avignon, France started in karting before moving to several series like the French Formula 3, Le Mans 24 Hours, Speedcar stock car, Canadian Grand Prix and Formula One. Decorated with Frances' L'Ordre National de la Legion d'Honneur in 2006.

It was great to meet the IndyCar drivers at this event and I look forward to more of the 2012 race season. Reps for Torchia Communications, the PR and marketing firm for Honda Indy Toronto, pointed out that the Toronto street course layout will start next Monday May 28 at 6am by Jim Tario, Director of Operations.

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