Sunday, 8 July 2012

Honda Indy: A feast of sights and sounds

Vroooooommmmmmmm Vrrrroooooooooommmmmmmmmm Rooooooooaaaaaaaar!

Honda Indy is a feast of sights and sounds.
A true treat for your eyes and ears!
"There's nothing quite like a car revving up at 900 horsepower"

This weekend was Honda Indy. Never having had the opportunity to attend the Hondy Indy before, this was my first time and I was excited! I have previously heard nascar sounds and f1 style cars compete (see previous Formula North post) but I had never seen or heard official Indy cars. And there is a difference, I learned. So here are the details on my first Hondy Indy experience. Bear in mind that I am no car expert or car fanatic but I do enjoy the race atmosphere, competitive environments and of course the sights and sounds of the Honda Indy. Don't forget to follow @hondaindy for details of the competition, the play-by-play and the winners.

The VIP experience:
Our VIP treatment included access to the grounds, the paddocks and the Dr. Pepper stands. The view from the stands was incredible as it was at a corner and included a good acceleration strip. Therefore you could see the drivers try to overtake and make passes right in front of you. What added to the excitement was the closeness to the screen, therefore whenever the cars passed our stands or were out of sight, we could always follow them on the jumbo-screen that was directly to our right.

The Dr. Pepper girls tossed out t-shirts and an endless supply of Dr. Pepper while educating their audience in the stands on some Dr. Pepper history (did you know Dr.Pepper has 23 flavours, 20 of which are a secret!) The paddocks provided attendees the chance to watch cars being worked on, get fueled up and roll in and out, to and from the track. The logos on the crew's shirts and the stickers on the cars constantly remind the audience of the sponsorship that goes into this expensive industry. I never realized how large Indy cars were until they passed right in front of me.

Of course the closeness to the track was the best part of the day as you could actually go up to the fence and watch the cars pass by and feel your heart and bones vibrate! Loved every minute of it!!!

Audience members reportedly felt that the event was "pretty cool"  and were "amazed by the scale [of the event]" stating that the "organization of the event was great". "[Seeing] more than one car on the track at high speed [was] quite exhilarating".

I was pleasantly surprised by the demographics of those in attendance. If you thought of the Honda Indy as a guy's event, Saturday July 7th would prove you wrong. While there were indeed many groups of guys, there were a visibly large number of families at the event. Also many of the guys at the event attended with female companions, thereby providing a nice mix of females and families at the Honda Indy 2012. Most of these individuals were seen along the fences and in the paddocks. The stands looked empty until the afternoon but didn't stay packed for too long.

The paddocks were seen to humanize the event through the provision of opportunities for interaction and an up-close look at the cars. While I didn't notice many participants interacting with the crews, I'm sure that those with specific questions would be able to interact with members of their favourite teams. This was in contrast to a trade-show which has much more constant interaction with its participants.

 There were indeed many families and groups of friends who were curious (there are also many fans who attend annually) about the Toronto-event and were looking for something "cool" to do on the weekend that was also a highlight in Toronto versus the attendees at a tradeshow who probably have a stronger interest in automotives and motorsports.

Nonetheless you could tell that the audience enjoyed the Honda Indy by the sheer number of those in line for an autograph and the eyes constantly fixated on every Indy car that passed by.

I had no earplugs during the entire day and loved every minute of it. It was great to see first-hand and definitely felt good to cross off an item on my Lo-cket List: the list of must-do things in Toronto. Looking at the pictures still makes my heart vibrate and I can still hear the cars zoom by!

Honda Indy Toronto 2012

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