The Cars of the Toronto Indy
The Honda Indy has seen its share of cars over the years. While many have found success, we look back at a selection of them that made an impact - and some history, at the race.
Call us a little biased, but you always remember your first, and we’ll always have a soft spot for the March 86C that Bobby Rahal drove to the inaugural Toronto Indy back in 1986. Of note, this car also brought him the 1986 IndyCar championship and Indy 500.
The ‘old-faithful’ of the IndyCar series, the third generation Dallara IndyCar made its debut back in 2003, with the updated IR-05 becoming the car everyone would use from 2008 through to 2011. Dario Franchitti was the first to tame the streets of Toronto with this car back in 2009.
The current IndyCar that helped usher in the six cylinder turbo-era. Though everyone ran the same bodywork back in 2012, it has undergone an evolution with the introduction of manufacture-produced aero kits.
No other chassis manufacturer has won the Toronto Indy more than Lola - visiting victory lane 12 times. But the B02/00 model was particularly successful, winning five consecutive races from 2002-2006. The Lola B02/00 also carried Paul Tracy to his second, and final Toronto Indy win back in 2003
Even though this car only ever saw a single Honda Indy, the Panoz DP01 was an instant favourite among fans (and this writer). Drop it into Google and you’ll find die-hard open-wheelers still reminiscing about DP01’s beauty & speed. A full field of DP01’s graced the 2007 grid, and provided one of the wildest races run in wet weather. Will Power took victory, but had to navigate a great deal of mayhem to get there.
Back when Team Penske built and raced their own cars, Emerson Fittipaldi and Paul Tracy drove the Penske PC-23 to a combined 8 wins back in 1993 - half the number of races on the IndyCar schedule. Paul Tracy would go on to equal then Champion, Nigel Mansell, with 5 wins. Though Tracy had to settle for 3rd in the championship that year, he did manage to bank the first of his two career Toronto Indy victories.
If you were fan of Indy Car racing in the mid-to-late 90s, then you’re likely familiar with the name Reynard. 1998, specifically, was a special year, as the Reynard 98i went on to win 18 of the 19 races on the calendar. Toronto Indy fans, in particular, were treated to Alex Zanardi celebrating victory with his signature donuts on the front stretch.
Victor Genova is the host of the Media People Podcast and a freelance racing writer. @VicGenova