Monday, May 20, 2013

@IndyCar's Tagliani and Hinchcliffe in #Toronto

Canadian IndyCar drivers Alex @Tagliani and the Mayor of @HinchTown, James Hinchcliffe, take a break during the run up to the 97th Indy 500 to return to Canada to meet the media. The Victoria Day meetup, ahead of our summer Honda Indy Toronto race, took place along the Queen's Quay waterfront beside the new Amsterdam BrewHouse (which will hold the Official Driver's Party in July). Honda Indy Toronto President Charlie Johnstone provided introductions and moderated the question and answer period.
Honda Indy Toronto President Charlie Johnstone

After one week with the final qualifying sessions and bump day at the world famous Indianapolis raceway Indy 500, the drivers can look forward to next weekend's Sunday, May 26, 2013 race. After the Indy 500 the teams return to the Detroit Belle Island course for their first doubleheader of the season, then onto Texas, Wisconsin, Iowa and Pennsylvania and then from July 12-14 it's the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader.
IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe

Ontario native James Hinchcliffe moved from Indy Lights to IndyCar in spring of 2011, since then he has steadily climbed in rankings and popularity, especially when he slipped into Danica Patrick's seat and took over the Andretti Autosport team, Go Daddy, vibrant green #27 car in 2012. This year he has already won two races (St Petersburg March 24 and Sao Paulo on May 5) and sits in 4th place in the overall standings with 112 points. He will start the Indy 500 in row 3. Talking about Toronto he noted that street races really beat up a driver and hoped that the fans respond positively to the two individual IndyCar races because it is extremely difficult for the driver and race teams. James only spent a little time in the last Indy car version, but much prefers the new car with its better downforce.
IndyCar driver Alex Tagliani

As Victoria Day is the unofficial start to summer it was a perfect time for the release of the Summer of Tag which is Alex Tagliani's new educational program. The Quebec born driver of the Barracuda #98 car is helping to spread knowledge of allergies to schools and the public while still having an impressive string of race finishes early in the 2013 season. Alex will start in the 4th row of the Indy 500 race. Later in the season Alex will partner with D.J. Kennington for the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series race at the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivieres, Aug 9-11. The driver talked of his preference for the new Indy car and of the importance of help and financial support from friends, family and sponsors. He noted that early drivers that want to continue racing required 90% hard work obtaining funds and only 10% driving - which is the fun part. The double headers are hard work for the teams, but good for fans and hopes that people will be able to see at least one race in the city.
Relaxing on the Muskoka chairs

Talking about superstitions Alex said he only has one, he has to get int he car on the left hand side, while James likes to change things so he is always doing something different, this way he knows his result is on how he drives, not on how he puts on his boots.

Several up and coming local kart racing stars, pictured below, also met with the drivers and posed for photos with the two professional drivers. James Hinchcliffe jokingly told the young drivers to pick up golf clubs before they become too good at racing and take over their jobs!
Our summer blockbuster race weekend starts Friday, July 12 and continues on Saturday, July 13 with a full race and onto Sunday, July 14 with another full race. Toronto race President Charlie Johnstone says "As a direct result of our consumer survey, race week festival and race weekend activities have come to the forefront of priority for our team this year. We are expanding the off-track programming schedule, in an effort to ensure that we offer something for the entire family, you and your buddies, race fan or not. We have tasked our team with building out an-off-track event schedule as detailed and packed full as the on-track schedule already is."
Auto racing media statesmen; reporters Dean McNulty from the Toronto Sun and Norris McDonald from the Toronto Star are just some of the media personalities attending the event

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