Friday, July 13, 2018

Fan Friday at Honda Indy Toronto 2018

Friday the 13th is a lucky day and you are either in Port Dover, if you like motorcycles, or are in Exhibition Place to catch all the automotive racing action happening right in the heart of the Six. The photo at top is me checking out the pits on Thursday afternoon. Pits are 10.668 metres (35 feet) long and the assignments are noted below. The gate opens to the public at 7:45am on both Friday and Saturday. On Sunday the gates open at 8:30am.

Gate Assignments; Position 1. Will Power car #12, 2. Josef Newgarden #1, 3. Ryan Hunter-Reay #28, 4. Simon Pagenaud #22, 5. Alexander Rossi #27, 6. Scott Dixon #9, 7. Canadian Robert Wickens #6, 8. Ed Jones #10, 9. Jordan King #20, 10. Takuma Sato #30, 11. Canadian James Hinchcliffe #5, 12. Graham Rayhal #5, 13. Tony Kanaan #14, 14. Zach Veach #26, 15. Sebastien Bourdais #18, 16. Conor Daly #88, 17. Charlie Kimball #23, 18. Spencer Pigott #21, 19. Marco Andretti #98, 20. Canadian Zachary Claman De Melo #19, 21. Max Chilton #59, 22. Matheus Leist #4 and position 23. Rene Binder of the #32 car.
 GT3 first practice
Yesterday I posted a photo of the Firestone tire operation located in the Enercare Centre. The tire manufacturer brings over 1,300 Firehawk race tires to Toronto for the race. The primary back tires are 14.5/28.0R15 and the fronts are 10.0/25.8R15 with a compound and construction the same as used in the St. Petersburg and Long Beach races. Firestone also sponsors a pit stop performance award and will present a cheque to Will Power for his crew's work at the Iowa Corn 300 race on July 8. Their combined pit stop performance was a time of 1 minute and 31.6664 seconds.
Pro Mazda
Fan Friday has free entrance into the Honda Indy Toronto provided by the Ontario Honda Dealers with a voluntary donation to Make-a-Wish Canada. Seating in grandstands is on a first come, first served basis, so it is a great day to come down and check out the cars and the sight-lines. This weekend will be hot, hot, hot so keep hydrated and slather sunscreen. Recent weather forecasts are calling for some rain and thunderstorms in the morning and early afternoon, hopefully they are wrong.
IndyCar takes to the track
In the first practice the top 3 fastest drivers were Scott Dixon #9 car, Graham Rahal #15 car and Alexander Rossi of the #27 car, all with speeds in excess of 105 mph. These cars do a lap in just slightly over 1 minute. Both James Hinchcliffe and Josef Newgarden were much lower in the standings from the top 3. Visually I prefer the following paint schemes on the cars driven by James Hinchcliffe (love the gold), Sebastien Bourdais and Ryan Hunder-Reay.
The early morning photographers meeting has concluded, I have my photo vest (I am number 115 in a red vest. If you see me say hi) and have my cameras ready to catch the on and off track excitement.
 Jordan King makes contact with the tire barriers in Turn 6 and needs a tow.

Today's schedule has plenty of practice and qualifying sessions and there are driver autograph events in the Enercare Atrium around lunchtime (11am USF2000, 11:45am Indylights/pro Mazda and IndyCar at 12:30pm)
Nascar Pinty's Series stockcars
Inside the IndyCar Paddock
Racing newest flag promotes inclusivity and tolerance in motorsports, represented in the background banner.

The black and white checkered flag has been combined with the LGBTQ+ rainbow colours to create a Formula Everyone flag. At the Toronto race you can find the You Can Play organization sharing the flags. 

Indycars first take to the track at 10:40am for their first practice of the day while the NASCAR Pinty's Series practice follows at 11:40am. Otherwise the track schedule runs from 8:00am to 6:05pm.

See more of Honda Indy Toronto after the jump.

NASCAR Pinty's Series first practice

Mounted Police keeping an eye on the race. The horses really stayed calm with all the noise

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