As we are getting close to celebrate 25 years of racing on the Streets of Toronto, the organizers and promoters of Honda Indy Toronto brought in the IZOD IndyCar racers Alex Tagliani, Paul Tracy and James Hinchcliffe after the qualifying session at Indianapolis 500.
Hosted by the Real Sports Bar and Grill in downtown Toronto, the media lunch and formal interviews took place over a two hours period in a jovial and friendly atmosphere.
Probably the ‘Star of the Day’ was Canadian auto racing driver from Montreal Alex Tagliani. Tagliani not only earned $100,000 for winning the coveted Indy 500 pole, he won the pole for what has been labeled the “Most Important Race in History.”
The significance of earning the pole for the Centennial Anniversary race was not lost in Tagliani’s joy. “To do it here at this particular time, it just happens once. We were not here for the first and we won’t be here for the 200th.”
He currently competes in the IZOD IndyCar Series, driving the #77 entry. Tagliani formed the FAZZT Racing team last season, but sold the team to Sam Schmidt Motorsports (SSM) in March of this year. In the first four races of the season, Tagliani has two top 10 finishes and is seventh in the points. He credits owner Schmidt with much of the team’s success. “He is such a great leader,” Tagliani said. “For Sam, he looked at the team and said this is an entity that’s good and should continue.”
This is Tagliani’s first IZOD IndyCar Series pole, although he earned five previous Indy car pole while competing in Champ Car. Tagliani is the first Canadian to earn a pole for the Indianapolis 500.
Watch a short interview with Alex carried by Dean McNulty from the Sun.
Honda Indy Toronto will take place from July 8 – 10, 2011.
You can get your tickets here