Tuesday, May 20, 2014

2014 Indianapolis 500 drivers visit #Toronto

@HondaIndy and Verizon IndyCar brought Jacques Villeneuve and Simon Pagenaud to meet with the media at @HuntersLanding after qualifying in the 'Greatest Spectacle in Racing'. The two Schmidt Peterson teammates qualified to run in the 98th Indy 500 mile race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway which will take place Sunday, May 25, 2014.
Charlie Johnstone (in red) introduces the drivers to a wall of media
l to r: Simon Pagenaud and Jacques Villeneuve

Quebec race car driver and racing legend Jacques Villeneuve, previous winner of the 1995 Indy 500 race, CART champion, and F1 World Champion qualified 27th in the upcoming Brickyard race while Simon Pagenaud from France, second in the IndyCar series standings and winner of the recent Grand Prix of Indianapolis race qualified 5th. This is Jacques' third Indy 500 race and he noted that it doesn't matter where you qualify - except to your ego. A quick check shows about 22% of the fastest qualifying drivers that take the pole position have ever gone on to win the race. 2014 IndyCar Series have 18 races in North America on superspeedways, ovals, road courses and temporary street circuits (hello Toronto's 1.75 mile run).

Simon says that the Indy 500 is the toughest race in the world and was happy to be with Jacques - who he watched when he was growing up and even now remains humble. Jacques was thrilled to be back in IndyCar and was happy to see the continued momentum of the series grow. The return to open wheel racing at Indianapolis left Jacques feeling like he was going crazy fast and now the excitement level has gone down to where racing becomes very natural for him.
Both drivers took time from their busy schedules to provide interviews and photo opportunities to help promote the '2 in TO' Honda Indy Toronto, back to back IndyCar races in Exhibition Place from July 18-20, 2014 - they even help up a sign saying there was only 58 days left till the Toronto event. The event was hosted by Honda Indy Toronto President Charlie Johnstone.
The drivers gathered to meet students (above) involved with the Formula North 2014 Engineering Design Competition, sponsored by Honda, which helps to raise awareness of practical engineering experience and student innovation. The competitors even build race cars which are measured by important features like acceleration and fuel economy.

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