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Honda Indy roars into Toronto

TORONTO – The roar near the Lakeshore continues Sunday for the second day of full-races.

New Zealand’s Scott Dixon won the first race of this weekend’s doubleheader at the Honda Indy Toronto, taking his second IndyCar victory of the season.

Hometown favourite James Hinchcliffe hopes to do better Sunday than his eighth place finish Saturday.

The second race kicks off Sunday afternoon.

Fans will get to check out the on-track track action and stunt shows as well as line up for autographs.

Recent Leafs acquisitions, David Clarkson and Dave Bolland, are the Indy grand marshals.

Race enthusiasts can watch the races live on Sportsnet Sunday afternoon.

On Sunday, popstar Karl Wolf will take center stage to perform the Canadian national anthem. Wolf is a Lebanese-born Canadian singer-songwriter. His inventive remake of the Toto hit “Africa” launched the Montrealer into international spotlight. Chambers will join him to sing the American national anthem.

Meanwhile, at a news conference at Exhibition Place on Thursday, Honda Indy Toronto president Charlie Johnstone and race car drivers Josef Newgarden and Tristan Vautier talked about festivals unique to the event and the idiosyncrasies of the Toronto track.

“It allows the casual fan to come down [and] see these world-class drivers in an actual race,” he told reporters.

He said with sun in the forecast and so many sub-festivals and off-track events, he expects attendance numbers to be up. The Honda Indy rakes in $50-million for the local economy.
This year’s car event, which runs Friday to Sunday, features a 2.84-kilometre, 11-turn street course track that goes through and around the fair grounds and uses Lake Shore Boulevard as the backstretch.

“It’s technically challenging because of the concrete patches,” Newgarden said.

“It’s all about getting the car to float over those…You lose all the grip in the middle of each corner. That’s unique about Toronto. It requires a very different driving style than any other [track.]

Road closures

Below are road closures in effect for the Honda Indy:

  • Lake Shore Blvd. from Strachan Ave. to British Columbia Dr. closed until Sunday at midnight
  • Strachan Ave. from Lake Shore Blvd. to Fleet St. closed until Sunday at midnight

Alternative east and west routes are the Gardiner Expressway and King Street.

Access to Ontario Place will be available from Lake Shore Boulevard at the foot of Strachan Avenue.

The TTC said riders can expect longer travel times on the 145 Humber Bay, 29 Dufferin, 63 Ossington, 504 King and 509 Harbourfront routes due to the road closures.

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