The NTT INDYCAR SERIES heads north of the border this weekend for the Honda Indy streets of Toronto race with Chevrolet aiming for a strong race for their teams.
Speaking ahead of the race this weekend, Chevrolet IndyCar Program Manager Rob Buckner said:
We’re all excited to return to the Streets of Toronto. “Canada has always been INDYCAR country, and the enthusiasm of the fans is infectious at Toronto. The lakefront location adds to the atmosphere.
“The stretch of different types of tracks the Chevrolet-powered teams compete on in June and July every season provides multiple opportunities to showcase the flexibility of the cars to maximize performance on different configurations as well as the talent of the drivers to perform well. “As at any street race, execution and strategy are key at Toronto. Qualifying and track position will play huge roles in the outcome of the race. We’re ready to go all-out and help our teams start up front and stay there come Sunday.”
Chevrolet drivers, Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin of Team Penske are excited about the race this weekend saying:
Josef Newgarden, No. 2 Chevrolet at Team Penske:
“Excited to go to Toronto. It’s definitely a crowd favorite. We love the city, we love the fans. They’re normally very knowledgeable on the history of INDYCAR. It’s a tough street circuit, a challenge for all of us. For our team, it’ll be a great opportunity to hopefully have a good weekend, good points for the championship and try to roll into the summer with more strength.”
Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 Chevrolet at Team Penske:
“For me, it’s my second year going into Toronto. Always love street circuits, and Toronto has so much history. Going there is a lot of fun and they put on an awesome event. The Canadian people really make the event, and it’s always a buzz. So, I’m excited to go back there and have another crack at a really cool race track.”
On learnings from last year and what can be applied to a second race…
“I think the more laps I can do, the better for me. We did as many laps as we could, and qualified in the Firestone Fast Six last year; we were really strong. But I know with that experience under my belt, and how I know the race travels in that, I feel like we can go better again. It’s just going to be laps and making the most of what I know from last year, and studying what I learned.”
With Detroit returning to the streets, and having St. Pete and Long Beach, what do you feel you’ve learned and can also apply to a second event in Toronto for you?
“I think what we learned with Firestone, and the tires, that’s a big deal. Toronto always comes at a time when everyone is really on top of their setups with street courses, and the tires and stuff, so I’m excited to go there. I think we’re going to have a really strong package regardless.
AJ Foyt Racing’s Santino Ferrucci and Toronto debutant Benjamin Pedersen are also looking forward to the race this weekend saying:
Santino Ferrucci, No. 14 Chevrolet at AJ Foyt Racing:
“I very much enjoyed racing at the Toronto Street course in 2019. We definitely had a strong weekend considering it was my first time there as a rookie. I do very much look forward to coming back to Toronto even though the car is different and I’m in a different team. We’ve been working very hard and very diligently, on our street course set up to try and improve from the team last year. Unfortunately, this is one of the few tracks I can’t practice on my simulator so I will be relying off of old videos and notes.”
Benjamin Pedersen, No. 55 Chevrolet at AJ Foyt Racing:
“This will be my first time in Toronto. I haven’t raced there in any Junior Formula series, but I am really excited to learn a new track and it looks like a very enjoyable street circuit. We will be racing against guys that have a lot of experience, guys that have literally been there for 20 years. The team has had a lot of success in the past on street circuits so I am excited to see what we can accomplish together.
“In terms of prep, the big thing is looking at video and data and trying to get as much sim time as possible. It will really be just getting up to speed as quickly as possible, getting the car in a window where it is performing and getting the most lap time out of it as possible. I am really focused on giving the team a strong result.”
Callum Ilott of Juncos Hollinger Racing is looking forward to the race this weekend and is hoping for a repeat of their solid performance here last year saying:
Last year, Toronto was a great event for us. We were solid in qualifying and we had good pace during the race. Unfortunately, I suffered a broken wing in the middle of the race. That put us on the back foot a little bit. But, I managed to come back through the field after that extra pit stop and finished P14.
“It will be nice to race in such a cool city like Toronto this weekend. It’s got a bit of history as well. My focus is on putting in a positive performance and seeing what results we can get out of it.”
For Agustin Canapino, it is his first time racing on the streets of Toronto and looking ahead to the race this weekend he said:
“I’m looking forward to racing in Toronto for the first time this weekend. I’ve been preparing by studying races from previous years to make sure I’m ready. On Thursday, I’ll have the chance to walk the track and learn the circuit further.
“Our last street race, in Detroit, was really good. The track was new for everybody there, so it was an even playing field. Toronto is a recurring track on the INDYCAR calendar, so it will be more difficult this time. But, I’m looking forward to the challenge.”