Toronto: Sam Schmidt Motorsports preview

SAM SCHMIDT MOTORSPORTS MAKES FIRST VISIT TO 'HINCH'S TOWN' THIS WEEKEND IN TORONTO TORONTO, Ontario, Canada -- Sam Schmidt Motorsports makes its first trip to Exhibition Place on the downtown streets of Toronto this weekend for Saturday's...

SAM SCHMIDT MOTORSPORTS MAKES FIRST VISIT TO 'HINCH'S TOWN' THIS WEEKEND IN TORONTO

TORONTO, Ontario, Canada -- Sam Schmidt Motorsports makes its first trip to Exhibition Place on the downtown streets of Toronto this weekend for Saturday's Toronto 100. Practice begins at 8:50 a.m. with a one-hour session on Friday. A second session follows at noon, and qualifying wraps up the day at 3:10 p.m. On Saturday, a warm-up session will take place at 8:50 a.m., and the Firestone Indy Lights race begins at 12:30 p.m. All times listed are in EDT. On-track sessions can be viewed live via indycar.com.

The television broadcast of the Toronto 100 airs on Monday, July 13, at 11 p.m. EDT on VERSUS.

Toronto native James Hinchcliffe ready for homecoming weekend.

Since the age of 18 months, James Hinchcliffe has been to every race on the downtown streets of Toronto. He began competing on the circuit in 2006 with the Champ Car Atlantic Series, finishing sixth. He returned again in 2007 where he was taken out of the race while running third due to being collided into during a yellow. With no race in 2008, he's eager for this year's event with Firestone Indy Lights to get going. Though he says winning on any track is special, certainly, one must wonder if Hinchcliffe getting his first Indy Lights win on his home court will have extra significance for him.

Gustavo Yacaman pursues season-best result this weekend.

For the youngest driver in the series, 18-year old Gustavo Yacaman is coming into this weekend fresh off his season-best road course result in Watkins Glen (8th). Overall, his best finish of the year was 4th in Milwaukee. Since Milwaukee, Yacaman has been a driver to watch as he's consistently run in the front pack of the grid. He was exciting in Watkins Glen as he improved 10 positions in the race, and he looks to carry that momentum into this weekend's event at Exhibition Place in Toronto, his first on the city circuit.

Race winners Wade Cunningham and Ana Beatriz make first visit to Toronto.

Two of the most experienced drivers in the field, Wade Cunningham, 2005 series champion and two-time Freedom 100 winner, and Ana Beatriz, two-time race winner and first female to win in the series, enter this weekend having never been to the circuit on the streets of Toronto. Combining the experience they possess in the Firestone Indy Lights cars, their quick adaptation to North American street tracks, and with their road racing background, both drivers look to be competitive right away when the green flag flies for practice on Friday morning.

Sam Schmidt and team to take part in charitable track walk/run/roll on Thursday.

On Thursday, July 9, the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation, in conjunction with Shoot for a Cure, will be hosting the "Run, Walk, N' Wheelathon presented by the Toronto Sun in support of Spinal Cure Research" at the Honda Indy Toronto circuit at 6 p.m. Sam Schmidt, his team's drivers, and a slew of participants will take part in a lap around the circuit. Media inquiries about the foundation can be directed to Ida Cahill, the foundation President: (609) 638-2083.

DRIVER NOTES & QUOTES

#7 HINCHTOWN.com/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Driver James Hinchcliffe
"I've been coming to the race in Toronto since I was 18 months old, so naturally, this weekend is one I've been looking forward to. That, and because there was no race here last year, I think all of Toronto is really geared up for a great event this weekend. Being able to race here again is awesome. The track is quite cool for a street circuit. It has a couple of really quick corners heading onto the front straight in Turns 10 and 11. Then, you have some really good passing opportunities heading down Lakeshore into Turn 3. Traditionally, it puts on a really good show. It's a challenging track because there are a lot of surface changes, high speed and low speed. It's a tough one to get your head around, but it's fun for the driver. I'm looking forward to putting on a great show for the Torontonian crowd this weekend."

#11 LUCAS OIL/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Driver Wade Cunningham
"Toronto should be a good race. It's one of the more historical, legendary tracks from CART and Champ Car and has a significant place in American open-wheel racing. We're looking to get back onto the positive end of the grid this weekend. We had a series of good results lately, and we're looking to get back into that right track with another good finish this weekend."

#20 HEALTHY CHOICE/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Driver Ana Beatriz
"We are looking to have a solid result this weekend. We didn't have as good a run as we hoped in Watkins Glen so I'm looking forward to getting the Healthy Choice/Sam Schmidt team back in the right direction in Toronto. I'm really excited about this weekend as my manager, Andre Ribeiro, has told me many good things about this track as has my teammate, James Hinchcliffe, who's from Toronto. It's a new track for me, but we are looking forward to a great weekend."

#44 CREPES & WAFFLES/TUVACOL/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Driver Gustavo Yacaman
"This weekend's race is another new track for me. I think we did okay at Watkins Glen, but we can do much better, and I hope we show that this weekend in Toronto."

Team Owner, Sam Schmidt Motorsports, Sam Schmidt
"I have never been to Toronto, but I'm looking forward to it. This was one of those tracks that I never got to visit due to the IRL/CART thing during my career. Hinch has raced there before, so he should be really good and hopefully the other drivers learn it quickly."

-credit: ssm

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Wade Cunningham , Andre Ribeiro , James Hinchcliffe , Ana Beatriz , Gustavo Yacaman