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Heat is on at Honda Indy Toronto


Staff writers

July 6, 2012 — The Honda Indy Toronto kicked off with practice laps Friday, even as the city sweltered in oppressive heat, with temperatures well past the 30-degree mark.

Mist tents and water trucks were on hand for spectators.
Mist tents and water trucks were on hand for spectators.

Weather Network presenter Chris Mei braved the heat to head down to the track to give our viewers a taste of what's to come over the next few days.

As you'd expect, the racers themselves had to struggle to keep on top of the intense heat.

"I got out of the car 20 minutes ago and I'm still sweating," said IndyCar racer Oriol Serviā. "It's hot, but you have to think it's hot for every other driver out there also, so you hope that you prepare better than the others, work out more and basically you drink a lot."

He said he researches other beverages that may help, like coconut water or energy drinks.

"It makes a difference, because when you sweat so much, you lose a lot of sodium, then you just lose focus, lose vision, so you have to be well hydrated," he said.

EMS technicians were on hand throughout the day, handing out pamphlets with advice on how to beat the heat. The city of Toronto had an extreme heat alert in place that day, and the event had misting tents and water trucks available.

Charlie Johnstone, the VP and GM of the Honda Indy, said Friday was about as hot as the event has ever been.

IndyCar driver Oriol Serviā (right) told TWN presenter Chris Mei it was a challenge to beat the heat.
IndyCar driver Oriol Serviā (right) told TWN presenter Chris Mei it was a challenge to beat the heat.

"So we're obviously encouraging people to make sure they're wearing their hats, have sunscreen, stay hydrated, take care of themselves and, as importantly, take care of their buddy," he said. 

Johnstone said racers stay hydrated at every pit stop, and even have water bottles hooked up to their helmets so they can drink throughout the race.

"You have to stay hydrated to do this race for two hours," he said.

Qualifiers are scheduled for Saturday, with the big race on Sunday.

The Honda Indy Toronto is an annual IndyCar race, and one of six Indy/Champ Car races to be held in Canada. Races take place on an 11-turn, 2.8 km street circuit around Exhibition Place.

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