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Published on June 27th, 2016 | by Guest Contributor

5 Reasons to Attend The Honda Indy.

It’s that time of year again! This July 15-17, The Verizon IndyCar Series roars back in Toronto to celebrate 30 years of racing on the Streets of Toronto circuit constructed at Exhibition Place. Toronto’s IndyCar history runs deep: from Bobby Rahal’s inaugural win in 1986, to Paul Tracy’s first homeland win in 1993 (thanks to a perfect final pit stop that allowed him to get back ahead of teammate Emerson Fittipaldi), to Michael Andretti’s record 7 wins stretching from 1989 to 2001, Toronto has seen its share of memorable racing moments.

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Here are five excellent reasons to attend this year’s 3-day festival.

1) Witness the return of NASCAR
After a 5-year hiatus, NASCAR is back in Toronto! Co-headlining this year’s festival is the Pinty’s Grand Prix of Toronto that features Canadian drivers in stock cars. Toronto is the 5th stop on the series’ 12-race schedule and the race at Exhibition Place is the premiere event of the class. Qualifying happens at 5pm on Friday and the race itself starts at 3:45pm on Saturday. Will Andrew Ranger be able to extend his winning streak in Toronto after winning the last two editions of the race? You won’t want to miss this!

2) Catch the other races
Beyond Saturday and Sunday’s main events and support series, festivalgoers can witness the intense semi-professional action of the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama, in which Porsche customers race (and occasionally crash) their own cars. Then there’s the crazy acrobatics of the SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks Presented by TRAXXAS, which are scaled-up versions of the popular radio-controlled off-road trucks. Jumps are installed all over the track so that drivers can catch massive air and perform crowd-pleasing tricks. This year’s festival certainly embraces years past and highlights new and exciting additions to the event as well.

3) Enjoy the food and beer garden
Green Savoree Toronto, organizers of the event, pride themselves on offering superior food and beverage options. Smoke’s Poutinerie will be there this year and there will be a trackside beer garden presented by Pinty’s Pub & Grill located by Turn 11, which will be a prime spot to watch the race and enjoy some of Pinty’s fine chicken products.

4) Walk through the Paddocks
Indy car drivers and crews are notoriously approachable during race weekend. In fact, you can purchase a Paddock Pass that gives you exclusive access to the IndyCar garages. Talk shop with an elite mechanic or, if you’re lucky, have a chat with Oakville’s own James Hinchcliffe or any of the other IndyCar stars.

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5) Partake in a wide variety of family-friendly activities
The moment you arrive on the site, there will be something to see and do. This year’s off-track festival features a slew of interactive exhibits, including face painting, racing simulators and activities with some of Toronto’s favourite sports teams.  Better yet, children under the age of 12 are admitted for free when they’re accompanied by an adult who has purchased a ticket.

Full schedule and festival information can be found at www.hondaindytoronto.com.

by Mathieu Rainville

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