After experiencing our first Formula One practice, we were looking forward to the events of the 2015 Honda Indy in Toronto.
There are fundamental differences between Formula One and Indy. Firstly, every year F1 teams build their car from the ground up. Everything is manufactured in-house from the body to the engine. Consequently, while they look similar, each team has a different approach designing their vehicles. Unlike Indy cars, who are all built using similar specifications, such as engine (Chevrolet and Honda) and body but with different setup changes. Because of this, Indy races tend to be tighter with slight time separation between positions.
In motorsports, the three day race weekends requires endurance from fans and the drivers alike. For the drivers, Friday is practice and drivers navigate the course in the morning and the afternoon contemplating winning strategies. Saturday is the qualifying race to see who will take pole position and have the most advantageous spot on the starting line. On Sunday, it’s race day, where all the fine-tuning comes into fruition and there is no margin for error allowed.
On Sunday before the race, we were invited to sit in the passenger seat of a Honda Pace car. When arrived trackside we were ushered into a Honda Civic Si. Our driver, Gale, ran us through the responsibilities of the pace car. If an accident occurs during a race the yellow flag waves, it’s then the pace car’s responsibility to set a safe pace for the racers to follow until the track is clear. Gale pushed the Si to 160 km/h and on turns she explained briefly how she would take turns along the circuit.
During the race there were seven lead changes among six drivers and nine of the laps were run under the yellow flag. In the end, we witnessed Josef Newgarden cross the finish line for his second Indy win of the year, he was followed by his teammate, Luca Filippi. This was also marked the first one-two win for the Indiana-based team, Carpenter-Fisher-Hartman Racing.
Despite it being the first time we attended a race weekend, we could already see the dedication of the fans. Some die-hards were there all the three days and most arrived as soon as the doors opened at 8AM, clad in racing apparel ranging from Formula One, Indy to Nascar. No matter how high or low the stakes were on that day, they ready to watch the drivers speed through the circuit.
We imagined them sitting in the stands through rain and sunshine, through hot or a unseasonably cold day. Luckily for us, we got to experience both extremes, on Saturday, we roasted and on Sunday, we watched the race in drenched in our rain gear. Thankfully, the rain had stopped during the race. Nonetheless, the excitement and enthusiasm never wavered, our hair rose as the turbocharged, 2.2-liter, V-6 Indy cars roared by our turn.
Thank you Honda for the experience!
Learn more about the Honda Indy.
Photos by: Jon Carlo Tapia.