Guelph's Robert Wickens excited to drive the number one pace car at the Honda Indy Toronto


Have you heard the roar by the Lakeshore? The 33rd annual Honda Indy Toronto is underway all weekend.

The big 85-lap race is set for 3 o'clock tomorrow afternoon.

A highlight for many this year will be seeing Guelph's Robert Wickens leading the warm-up lap.

This comes almost a year after a devastating crash and spinal cord injury, which left him a paraplegic.

Wickens, who'll be driving a car retrofitted with special hand controls, remains hopeful.

"It put a huge smile on my face. Just to think how fortunate I am - one, to have such great partners around me to make this happen. Racing's my dream. It's my passion. It's all I want to do."

Meantime, Simon Pagenaud has won the pole position.


Pagenaud has spent the past seven weeks since winning the Indianapolis 500 itching for another victory.

It could come tomorrow.

Pagenaud will start from the pole in the Honda Indy Toronto, recording a time of 58.4293 seconds in today's qualifying session on the 2.89-kilometre, 11-turn street course that winds around Exhibition Place on Toronto's lakefront.

It's the 12th pole of the 35-year-old Frenchman's career, and second this season.

He finished second in Toronto last year.

Defending Toronto Indy and reigning series champion Scott Dixon will start from second and Felix Rosenqvist in third.

James Hinchcliffe of Oakville, Ontario will start 14th.

Hinchcliffe has never won in Toronto, but has two third-place finishes in the past four years.

He's attempting to become the first Canadian to win at home since Toronto's Paul Tracy stood atop the podium in 2003.

With files from Heather Seaman