IndyCar: Honda Indy Toronto Race Preview

The Honda Indy Toronto race has served as a cornerstone of the IndyCar calendar since its debut in 1986. Image sourced from NBC Sports.

This weekend the cars and stars of the NTT INDYCAR Series return to action, with the 35th running of the Honda Indy Toronto.

Newgarden Leads the Charge

© Josef Newgarden has previously won the at Honda Indy Toronto in 2015 and 2017 respectively. © James Black & INDYCAR Media.

Championship leader Josef Newgarden enters the weekend with a seven point lead over Andretti Autosports’ Alexander Rossi. 

Newgarden, a two-time race winner in Toronto, is eager to continue his championship hunt following a short break in the series’ schedule: 

“It was nice to have a bit of a break to relax and work on strategy for the remainder of the season that we all feel really good about,” said Newgarden.

“We have a solid plan going into the race weekend, and I know my team is putting together a really strong Hitachi-Chevy that I can’t wait to drive.” 

Alexander Rossi, who won the series’ last outing at Road America in late June, will be looking to continue to chip away at Newgarden’s championship lead: 

“Toronto is one of the most exciting races of the season for us due to the energy of the crowd and the city,” Rossi said.

“This weekend kicks off a three-week stretch if critical races, so the whole team and I will be needing to bring our ‘A’ game. 

2019 Indy 500 Champion Simon Pagenaud heads into the weekend third in the IndyCar standings, 61 points behind Newgarden. 

“We’re sitting third in the championship and are in a really good position going forward,” said Pageanud.

“My crew and I are excited and focused on executing in the next three weeks to come.” 

Hope for Home Favourite Hinchcliffe

James Hinchcliffe will be aiming to become only the second Canadian driver to win the Honda Indy Toronto event. © Mark J. Rebilas

Canadian native James Hinchcliffe will be the favourite among the fans in Toronto. He’ll head into his hometown race sitting ninth in the points, looking for his first visit to victory lane in 2019:

“The No. 5 Arrow team has had great pace for several races in a row, we just need that end result to come together,” said Hinchcliffe.

“I can’t think of a better place for that to happen than Toronto.” 

The ‘Mayor of Hinchtown’ earned his first career podium on the streets of Toronto back in 2016 after a third-place finish. After repeating the result in 2017, Hinchcliffe is still searching for his first victory on home soil. 

If Hinchcliffe were to win on Sunday, it would mark the first time a Canadian-born racer has won on the streets of Toronto since 2003. On that occasion, Paul Tracy claimed his second-career hometown win. 

You can watch the 2019 Honda Indy Toronto live on Sky Sports F1, from 8pm BST.