Pit Notes #1

Toronto, ON (June 28, 2010) - Racing season is in full swing and soon it will be Toronto’s turn to host one of the rounds on the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series schedule.

With the construction of the Toronto street course Built by Mike well underway, the official countdown to the 2010 Honda Indy Toronto has begun.

By the time teams arrive in Toronto, 2,000 steel-reinforced barriers will have been put in place along with 11,000 feet of chain-link debris fence as well as 19,000 feet of chain-link spectator fence and 1,600 feet of tire wall.

With everything in place come race weekend and with the teams settled in to their paddock area, fans will be in for a treat this year with no less than six different racing series taking part in the action and over 120 drivers taking to the track.

Seven races with a star-studded lineup
The 2010 Honda Indy Toronto has a power-packed lineup of races scheduled. Aside from the IZOD IndyCar Series main event, race fans will once again be able to enjoy the show put on by the Firestone Indy Lights and the Castrol Canadian Touring Car Championship presented by Toyo Tires.

Additionally this year, the Honda Indy Toronto has added the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1, the SCCA Trans-Am Series and two SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge Series races. Here’s a look at the different racing series and some of the drivers to look forward to in Toronto.

IZOD IndyCar Series
The premier open-wheel racing series in the United States and Canada features a diverse lineup of drivers and 2010 has been one of its most competitive seasons to date. Participants hail from the United States, Canada, Brazil, Japan, England, Scotland, Venezuela, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland and Belgium.

Paul Tracy: Canadian driver and fan-favorite, Tracy will be racing in support of Make-A-Wish Canada thanks to a novel and inspiring partnership between Honda Canada and Make-A-Wish. Tracy and his KV Racing Technology team will be looking to harness the energy and support of home-town fans in pursuit of his third victory on the streets of Toronto.

Dario Franchitti: Current Indianapolis 500 winner and reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champ, the Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver will be looking for a repeat performance as he took his third victory of the 2009 season from pole position at the Honda Indy Toronto last year.

Will Power: Coming back from a season-ending injury last year, the current leader of the newly created road championship, honoring the highest finisher on all road and temporary street courses this season, has been a threat on the street circuits this season. The Team Penske driver opened the season with two back-to-back victories on the streets of Brazil and St. Petersburg. Power also took his second major open-wheel race win at Toronto in 2007.

Alex Tagliani: The Canadian driver has been turning heads this season with his FAZZT race team, claiming a front row start at the team’s debut in Brazil. Tagliani impressed last season in Toronto leading a total of 21 laps before being caught out by a caution period that likely cost him his best finish of the season. This year the one they call ‘Tag’ will be hoping for a better outcome.

The women: Toronto fans will be treated to the presence of not one but three women with Simona De Silvestro (HVM Racing), Danica Patrick (Andretti Autosport) and Milka Duno (Dale Coyne Racing) in this year’s driver lineup.

Firestone Indy Lights
Firestone Indy Lights is the premier ladder series for drivers and teams striving to reach the IZOD IndyCar Series and features a talented lineup of drivers.

JK Vernay: Current championship points leader, Frenchman Vernay has been a force on the street and road courses this season. The former Formula 3 Euro Series driver took victory in his first Firestone Indy Lights race at St. Petersburg and followed that up with another win at Barber Motorsports Park with his Sam Schmidt Motorsports team.

James Hinchcliffe: The Toronto native who drives for Team Moore Racing is currently sitting third in the championship standings and has had a strong season so far. After early contact took him out of the race at the season opener in St. Petersburg, ‘Hinch’ has bounced back with three top-five performances including a podium in the Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and a win at Long Beach.

Philip Major: Hailing from Ottawa, Ontario, Major is one of two Canadians in the Firestone Indy Lights lineup. The newcomer to Sam Schmidt Motorsports spent the last two years racing in the British Formula 3 championship.

NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1
The Canadian Tire Jumpstart 100 will be making its first visit to the streets of Toronto at this year’s Honda Indy Toronto. One of NASCAR’s most competitive series, since its inception in 2007, features Canada’s best stock-car drivers. At season’s end, Canada’s only national champion in motorsports will be crowned.

DJ Kennington: After finishing second in the championship standings in 2007 and 2009, the St. Thomas, Ontario native is chasing his first series title this season. With a win from pole at the season-opening race at Delaware (Ont.) Speedway in the books, Kennington will be a tough competitor on the streets of Toronto.

JR Fitzpatrick: Hailing from Cambridge, Ontario, Fitzpatrick has four series wins on road courses and will be looking to add to that total in Toronto. With a pair of wins at Mosport International Raceway and single victories at Edmonton and Montreal, this Canadian driver and part-time NASCAR Nationwide Series competitor will be a force to be reckoned with at Toronto.

Castrol Canadian Touring Car Championship presented by Toyo Tires
The CCTCC has some of Canada’s best drivers facing off on-track in two separate classes aboard touring cars. Split into the Touring Class and Super Touring class, manufacturers include Acura, Audi, BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Mazda, Mini, Nissan, Pontiac, Subaru and Volkswagen.


Gregory Pootmans: Winner at Toronto in 2009 in the Super Touring class, Pootmans will again be one to watch this season as he races in front of his home crowd.

Anthony Rapone: The Thornhill, Ontario native leads the Touring class championship after one round. That combined with his win at Toronto in 2009 makes him a favorite for a repeat performance.

SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series
Running 90-mile sprint races, the SCCA Trans-Am Series features 800-horsepower V8 “silhouette” cars including the Jaguar XKR, Chevrolet Corvette and Camaro, and Ford Mustang. Top drivers such as Tommy Kendall, Scott Pruett, Scott Sharp and Greg Pickett have all successfully competed in the Trans-Am series.

Tony Ave: The 2010 points leader after three rounds, Ave has started on pole twice this season and has placed as many times on the podium, claiming victory at the recent race at Miller Motorsports Park.

Tomy Drissi: The current Trans-Am Series champion, Drissi is sitting second in the championship on the strength of two podium finishes, including a win.

SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge Series races (World Challenge)
World Challenge is North America’s top production car-based championship with three separate classes of competition (GT, GTS and Touring Car) in which the world’s most popular manufacturers race head-to-head. Races are a maximum of 50 minutes from start to finish and feature standing starts.

Randy Pobst: GT Class Championship points leader, Pobst, from Gainesville, Ga. has two wins this season including one on the streets of St. Petersburg.

Peter Cunningham: The Wisconsin driver has four podiums in five starts this season, including two wins on the streets of St. Petersburg. He currently leads the GTS standings.

Robert Stout: A rookie driver from Brownsburg, Indiana, Stout has shown his strength on street circuits this season, placing second twice at St. Petersburg and winning at Long Beach. His performances have allowed him to take over the Touring Car class points lead.

The Canadians: Both racing in the GT Class, Kuno Wittmer (Montreal, Quebec) and Fred Roberts (Toronto, Ontario) will be fan favorites as they are part of a small Canadian contingent in World Challenge. Wittmer, who is sitting second in points, has one street course victory this season at Long Beach while Roberts has two top-10 finishes.

Join in the fun and help a great cause
While many activities take place surrounding the Honda Indy Toronto, only one offers fans the chance to run, walk or wheel their way to the finish line on the actual Honda Indy Toronto racetrack while supporting a great cause.

Once again this year, Shoot for the Cure and the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation have teamed up to for the second annual Honda Indy Toronto Walk, Run ‘N Wheel-a-thon that will be held on July 15 at 7:00 p.m. in support of spinal cure research.

A victory party will take place immediately following the race at the start/finish line where there will be a live performance by Toronto band, EZ Street. Additionally, recording artist Sara Westbrook will sing the national anthem to kick off the event, and will also grace the stage for two songs with EZ Street.

Participants who want to do either the 5km run, or the 2.8km walk or wheel to the finish line can register online at www.shootforacure.org for a nominal pre-registration fee of $25, which is waived if $150 is fundraised in support of the cause. Participants can also register the day of the event for a $30 fee.

All proceeds will benefit Shoot For a Cure Moto-Sport and the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation. Additional beneficiaries include the Sunnybrook Toronto Rehab Foundations.

Now taking credential applications
If you are a member of the media and want to attend the Honda Indy Toronto, don’t forget to apply for credentials online at www.hondaindytoronto.com/media-credential-request. The deadline for applications is Friday, July 2, 2010

Due to space limitations, credentials will be limited, with priority given to media that are on assignment. Non-credentialed media or journalists working from offsite locations can receive information, background documents, quotes and photos through Kathleen Stelmach at (o) 416-341-9929, (c) 647-830-0354 and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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About Honda Indy Toronto
The Honda Indy Toronto, Ontario’s largest annual sporting event, takes place from July 16 to 18 on the streets surrounding Exhibition Place near Lake Ontario and downtown Toronto.  With more than two decades of open wheel racing history in Toronto, the Honda Indy Toronto is among the most respected motorsports events in North America and features a festival-like atmosphere that includes the fastest racing series on the planet, celebrity athletes and three action-packed days of live entertainment and interactive activities. For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.HondaIndyToronto.com or call 877.503.6869.

Media information:
Kathleen Stelmach
Office: 416-341-9929 ext. 227
Cell: 647-830-0354
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.