Toronto: The confetti was tossed and the bubbly was popped to celebrate New Zealand racing driver Scott Dixon`s dominating victory at this weekend`s IndyCar Championship here.
"Toronto has always been a place I`ve wanted to win at, we`ve alluded it many times," Dixon said after Sunday`s win.
Besides coming in at first place on Saturday, Dixon took away an easy victory early on in Sunday`s 85-lap race. With a good 15-second gap between him and Helio Castroneves, who came in second, Dixon walked from this weekend`s Honda Indy Toronto, one of the biggest sporting events in the province, with a big jump in points in the overall series, and two trophies.
"I think where we made big strides in the gap was over pitstops and in the outlets, we seemed to jump three or four seconds in one swoop," said Dixon.
Once again transforming one of Toronto`s major city streets into an 11-turn, 2.84-km street course, the event, which has been going on since 1986, featured some unique additions this year.
For the first time since 2008, fans got to watch all the cars roar away from a standing start instead of the usual rolling start. Promotors also implemented the double-header race this weekend to amp up the excitement for fans, who got to see not only one, but two races this year.
All of this though meant a much more challenging race for drivers. Indy Toronto`s president Charlie Johnstone likened it to "running a marathon."
"It`s tough on the equipment, this is a tough track, but in one of the key markets in North America, this is where we want to try it," who added that the double-header will be tested out in other markets.
Dixon said all they can do is make the best out of the situation.
"It is tough when you maybe have missed a performance on a double-header weekend," he said. "Instead of having one bad weekend, you`re really having two."
The thrills of IndyCars - which is much faster, bigger and more durable than Formula Ones - is a wildly popular sport in the U.S. But it`s a different story in Canada, where IndyCar events are much sparser. With the Edmonton Indy scrapped last year, Toronto is now the only Canadian stop for the series.
Johnstone said expanding to other Canadian markets isn`t easy.
"It`s easy to want it, it`s hard to actually do it," he explained. "The problem is you want to race in other places, but do you have another venue? Is there an area where we can do it in? `Cause the logistics of putting on a world-class event in downtown streets are not obviously without its challenges."
Racers will be heading back to the US to continue competing in the series in Ohio next month, and face another double-header in Houston in September.