Want to help out at the Honda Indy? Volunteer your time in return for a trackside viewing spot? Make new friends? Have a ball?
Meantime, organizers of the 2014 Honda Indy Toronto have announced that Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonia of Capital Cities and Tim Warmels, the new bachelor for Season 2 of The Bachelor Canada,will serve as the Grand Marshals for the festival, taking place this Friday through Sunday.The Capital Cities duo, along with Ontario-native Warmels, will perform the standard Grand Marshal duties, which include giving the famous “Drivers, start your engines” command to start the two afternoon races: Warmels on Saturday and the indie pop duo on Sunday.Yes, this a reminder once again that the Honda Indy Toronto weekend is made up of two races, not one. A full program on support races are on tap both Saturday and Sunday with a complete, points-paying, Verizon IndyCar Series race taking place both Saturday and Sunday afternoons.”We are honoured to have Capital Cities and Tim Warmels as the grand marshals for our event,” said Charlie Johnstone, President of the Honda Indy Toronto. “Each member of talent our roster enjoys international recognition and respect, and we are thrilled to have them involved in Ontario’s largest sporting event.”Taking centre stage at the Honda Indy Toronto to sing the Canadian national anthem on Saturday will be Toronto native and three-time MMVA winner, Danny Fernandes. His chart-topping 2008 debut Intro and its follow-up, 2010’s AutomaticLUV, generated 13 MMVA nominations and three wins, along with five No. 1 MuchMusic videos.To sing the American national anthem on the Saturday will be Canadian Jazz singer Barbra Lica, who in 2012 released her debut album titled That’s What I Do and was the first runner-up at the 2013 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Competition in the United States.
Gracing the stage on Sunday to sing both the national anthems will be Douglas Tranquada, who has been a long-time part of Toronto’s local opera scene with Opera Mississauga, Opera York, Opera Kitchener, Toronto Operetta Theater, the internationally renowned Tafelmusik Baroque Chamber Choir and has had many collaborative efforts with the McMaster University Choir and orchestra under Philip Sarabura. Fans may recognize Tranquada as he has sung many anthems for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Rock. He is also a member of the accapella singing group The Mistletones.
The ceremonial parade laps for the races will have a healthy dose of Canadian hockey pride with appearances from Nazem Kadri of the Toronto Maple Leafs along with Natalie Spooner and Meaghan Mikkelson from the Women’s Canadian Olympic Hockey Team, who are also current competitors on The Amazing Race Canada.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun to have Kuno step into the Pirelli World Challenge and test his skills in the Viper GT3-R against the top class in the series,” said Ralph Gilles, CEO of SRT Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC.
“This is a test Viper that Riley Technologies prepared and we see these races as an opportunity to showcase our customer program. We’ve had success in the series with Dan Knox taking the Viper to the winner’s circle during the Detroit race weekend and we want to continue building momentum with our Viper GT3-R program.”
Wittmer will compete in the World Challenge’s GT class in Toronto a week after racing at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in an IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship event. Wittmer won the pole in the GT Le Mans class, driving a Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R, his full-time ride. He eventually finished second after being balked by a slower car and going off-track.
Wittmer, who’s originally from Hudson, Que., has finished on the podium three times so far this season. He previously raced in the World Challenge from 2008 to 2010 and won six races.
“Since his first race with us in 2006, we have enjoyed watching Kuno race,” said Scott Bove, president and CEO for Pirelli World Challenge/ WC Vision. “We look forward to seeing him racing on the Toronto street course.”