Friday, July 14, 2023

Fan Friday at Honda Indy Toronto 2023

Honda Indy Toronto starts today with the gates opening at 8am and cars on the track a half hour later. And the day is well known as Fan Friday as the Ontario Honda Dealers makes it possible for race fans to attend the event for free, but ask for a voluntary donation in support of Make-A-Wish Canada. Over 11 years almost one million dollars has been raised by fans and all donations will be matched by the Honda Canada Foundation (up to $100k). You can donate in person in the Enercare Centre or even online ( USF Pro 2000 teams wait off track for their 9:15am practice session one in the photo at top.

“We encourage our Honda Indy Toronto patrons to get involved by making a voluntary donation to Make-A-Wish Canada as part of Your Ontario Honda Dealers Present Honda Fan Friday,” said Jeff Atkinson, president of Honda Indy Toronto. “We are extremely grateful for our partnership with Honda Canada and the Ontario Honda Dealers Association and the positive impact this collaboration is having. We encourage everyone to come out and take advantage of our great General Admission pricing, and kids 12 and under are admitted free.”

By the way if you have a Presto Card you can show it at the IndyCar paddock to gain free access on Friday only: From Go Transit's website "On Fan Friday, PRESTO card holders get even more racing fan fun because your PRESTO card becomes your Paddock Pass. Just show your PRESTO card and gain access to the Paddock (known as the locker room of motorsports)."
Safety team gather for a quick briefing 

In addition to racing you can always check out the various series paddocks, the vendors and entertainment on Thunder Alley, the Honda World display across the pedestrian bridge with a large Truck Stop food and beverage area nearby, a beer garden at the far end of Thunder Alley and the UNIBET Finish Line lounge along the Enercare Centre.

All the race series will be on the track today, but the day is also special as NASCAR Pinty's Series will headline Fan Friday as they undergo practice and qualifications from 11:15am to 12:35pm then at 5:10pm the 80 minute Tiffany Gate Grand Prix of Toronto race will be held. Certainly a tight schedule for the big stockcars but an exciting time for fans on the first day of race weekend. After the race head to Victory Circle and catch a glimpse of the victorious drivers splash champagne at each other.

Canada's national race series the NASCAR Pinty's teams provide a high level of excitement in their big muscle cars. They rip through the course, not afraid to mix it up and their cars take the punishment that leaves large circles from rubbing tires across the sides, or worse. There are 26 drivers scheduled to mix it up in Exhibition Place.

The current top five Pinty's drivers are as follows.
1 Treyten Lapcevich 139 
2 Kevin Lacroix 122 
3 L.P. Dumoulin 116 
4 Alex Guenette 114 
5 Marc-Antoine Camirand 112

Scott Steckly former driver and team owner taking care of business
The outdoor NASCAR Pinty's Series paddock

In today's NASCAR Pinty's Series field there are three previous winners of the Toronto Grand Prix; Alex Tagliani #18 car, Andrew Ranger #27 car and Kevin Lacroix #74 car. As well there are four Series Champions; D.J. Kensington #17 car, Andrew Ranger, LP Dumoulin #47 car and 2022 defending Champion Marc-Antoine Camirand #96 car. The field is loaded with talent and the drivers love being in front of Toronto's large base of race fans.

NASCAR qualications have the top five drivers as Alex Tagliani, Andrew Ranger, L.P. Dumoulin, Kevin Lacroix and Gary Klutt. These guys are ready to rock.

IndyCar practice one starts at 1:30pm.

IndyCar practice one

Friday, July 14 schedule
8:30 AM - 9:00 AM USF2000 Practice 1
9:15 AM - 9:45 AM USF Pro 2000 Practice 1
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM Radicals Practice
11:00 AM - 11:30 AM USF2000 & USF Pro 2000 Autograph Session (Heritage Court in Enercare Centre)
11:15 AM - 12:35 PM NASCAR Pinty's Series Practice & Qualifying
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM NTT INDYCAR SERIES Autograph Session (Heritage Court in Enercare Centre)
12:50 PM - 1:20 PM Sports Car Championship Canada Practice & Qualifying
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM NASCAR Pinty's Series Autograph Session (Heritage Court in Enercare Centre)
1:35 PM - 1:55 PM USF2000 Qualifying 1
2:10 PM - 2:30 PM USF Pro 2000 Qualifying 1
3:00 PM - 4:15 PM NTT INDYCAR SERIES Practice 1
4:30 PM - 4:55 PM Radicals Qualifying
5:10 PM - 6:30 PM NASCAR Pinty's Series Race
Great crowds for Fan Friday 

See more of the IndyTO after the jump.

Part of Thunder Alley

Top pole positions for the race
Lineup for driver introductions and the National Anthem

In the end the Tiffany Gates Grand Prix was won by Alex Tagliani, followed by Kevin Lacroix and Marc-Antoine Camirand.

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