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Last week was the latest stop in the Indy Car and Indy Pro 2000 series. This race took us to the streets of Toronto. This 11-turn tight and bumpy 2.1-mile track proved to be one of the most challenging tracks of the year.
The Streets of Toronto course is a road course that winds through this beautiful Canadian metropolis. Speeding past Major League Soccer’s BMO Stadium with CN Tower in the background was an amazing backdrop to some truly exciting racing.
The practice began early Thursday morning for the Indy Pro 2000 Series with Sting Ray posting some competitive times. But with a little bit of improvement, he needed to gain a top position in the upcoming qualifying session.
The qualifying sessions began a few hours later and the improvements did the trick. Sting Ray finished 4th and 5th respectively in those sessions. Not a bad spot to be in during the hectic starts going into a very tight right-hand turn to start the race. In between qualifying sessions, Sting Ray also got to do an autograph session and interact with the very large crowd that was in attendance.
Race 1 was Saturday morning and everyone was hyped up and extremely optimistic. Both Sting Ray and his teammate Rasmus Lindh had qualified very well and had fast cars. Team Juncos Racing’s mechanics and engineers had done a fantastic job adapting to the bumpy and slippery track.
The beginning of race 1 was an exciting one! 13 cars barreling down the straightaway into a tight 90-degree corner is a sight to see! Sting Ray was able to take an inside line and move into 3rd position. At that point, he settled in and waited for his chance to make his move into second place. Sting Ray had posted the fastest lap of the race and was on the move! He overtook his teammate in turn 5 with a well-executed pass on the inside. However, his teammate was right on his heels and passed him back on the same corner 2 laps later. Sting Ray knew he was faster and was setting up his next pass when he ran into some bad aero from his teammate and brushed the wall in turn 6. Even though it was a minor touch it was enough to break a left rear toe link and effectively end Sting Ray’s race. While definitely not the result they were looking for, Sting Ray and Juncos Racing knew they had a fast car.
After the race, Sting Ray was able to spend some time with the kids from the Kids On Track program. This is an amazing program that helps less fortunate kids gain access to race car drivers and be able to ask questions and get an up-close look at an actual race car. Sting Ray regularly volunteers to spend time and give the kids an insider’s view of what it is like to drive 160 miles per hour.
Race 2 was the next day and the track was in a totally different condition. All of the rubber that had been laid down the previous days had been pelted off by a massive series of thunderstorms that left the Toronto streets flooded and the track clean. Sting Ray started out in 5th place and worked his way up to 4th place in quick fashion but, that was all that he was able to progress. Some minor adjustments that were supposed to give them a little bit of an edge just didn’t do the trick and the track had dynamically changed. Traction was something that all drivers were looking for and it proved to be elusive. Nevertheless, Sting Ray had a solid race and gained valuable experience throughout the entire weekend.