IndyCar: Honda Indy Toronto Preview


The Verizon IndyCar Series races into Canada this weekend for the annual running of the Honda Indy Toronto.

The race has been a staple on the IndyCar calendar, ever since Bobby Rahal won the inaugural edition back in 1986. In the 32 years since then, the list of drivers to win on the streets of Toronto is a who’s-who of some of IndyCar’s top drivers.

Michael Andretti holds the record for most wins at Toronto, having won on the city streets seven times. Out of all active IndyCar drivers, Will Power sits in the lead with a total of three victories and will be looking for his fourth on Sunday.

Defending Toronto winner, and IndyCar Series champion, Josef Newgarden, enters this weekend second in the series standings. Newgarden will be looking for his fourth win of the season, and third in Toronto, come Sunday.

“Toronto is always a race I look forward to,” said the driver of the #1 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet. “It can be challenging but always exciting.”

While Newgarden will look to give it his all in the car this weekend, he admits strategy will likely play a major role in determining the race’s eventual winner.

“Strategy will be really important here, as with any street or road course, I know that’s something a lot of teams are really thinking about,” Newgarden said.

Most fans in Toronto will likely have their eyes on Schmidt Peterson Motorsport’s (SPM) James Hinchcliffe and Robert Wickens, who both arrive in Canada this weekend with a very strong chance of victory.

For the first time in his career, James Hinchcliffe arrives in Toronto as IndyCar’s most recent winner, following his late-race dominance last weekend in Iowa.

“It’s been pretty nonstop since the win in Iowa, but the momentum we have is hopefully going to carry over into the race this weekend in Toronto,” said the driver of the #5 SPM Arrow Honda.

While Hinchcliffe did experience major disappointment after failing to qualify for this year’s Indy 500, outside of the month of May his season has been filled with strong results.

Robert Wickens comes into this weekend as one of IndyCar’s most noteworthy drivers this season. While Wickens has shown tremendous promise so far in his maiden IndyCar campaign, he is still looking for his first career victory.

“I can’t wait to get my helmet on and get on with practice because it’s a track I’ve always wanted to drive an Indy car on,” said Wickens. “It’s a bucket list item of mine to race as a professional driver in front of my hometown, so I’m really looking forward to checking that off the list.”

If his strong performance on street courses so far is any indication, look for Wickens’ name at the top of the scoring charts all weekend long.

It has been 15 years since Canadians last witnessed one of their own win on home-soil, when Paul Tracy captured the chequered flag back in 2003. Fans in Toronto will be very eager to see Wickens, Hinchcliffe, or Dale Coyne’s Zachary Claman DeMelo in Victory Lane come Sunday.

Live coverage of this weekend’s IndyCar action can be found on BT Sport 2 from 8pm BST on Sunday.