Back to the future Mexico Grand Prix- Toronto to Mexico City story

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The Toronto Globe and Mail

 

A girlfriend of mine would listen to all my wild ideas,I would tell her about racing on the streets of Toronto, films, music concerts; then one day she asked me to come meet the people who ran her family company they made beer, and she walked me into the office of the late CEO Sid Oland of John Labatt’s. Sid had a passion for Formula 1 so he and I decided we should be slapping the name Labatt’s all over Formula 1,it would be fun and the parties would be unreal, the rest is now history.

In the 80’s I made some serious money it was relatively easy, considering that I worked with the richest man in the world in those days Adnan Khashoggi, a (YouTube I uploaded in case you want to know more how rich) Saudi businessman and arms merchant. As the richest guy in the world he knew everyone also rich, so I ended up meeting a lot of very wealthy people and ended up looking after some of their investments. Khashoggi introduced me to a race car driver John Graham a Canadian, who wanted to race on the streets of Toronto. None of the big corporations would sponsor this young Canadian. I have always had as my focus support the talent of Canada, so I sponsored John, and the team so he could race.

Later when I ended up meeting Sid Oland of John Labatt he actually got it when I told him marketing in racing really works. I told him “Sid, I spent $100,000 total to sponsor John the race car, had a great party at King Edward and took out a full-page add in the Toronto Globe and Mail (above); imagine what we could do with a Formula 1 Team and few drivers?”. I had one more thing going for me I knew the late John Craig Eaton, who inherited the T. Eaton Company and was on the board of Labatt. Eaton wanted to bring Formula 1 to Canada, loved racing, and liked calling me “Timothy” as that was the name of his father Timothy Eaton founder of the Canadian department store. So began a long relationship with the Williams Racing Team and some of the greatest Formula 1 World Champions.

In 1992, John Graham wanted me to come to Mexico City for the Grand Prix he wanted me to meet Giancarlo Minardi (picture of Giancarlo and myself in the garage was lost in Northridge quake when my house tumbled down); However something very magical and amazing happened in Mexico City at Autódromo Hermanos Rodriguez, naturally our Labatt sponsored drivers were on the podium, winning one and two for the Williams Team, Nigel Mansell, and Riccardo Patrese. While that was great something really amazing was about to happen, those moments in life that change the course of your future. A team in the garage next to Minardi came third called Benetton, and their driver won his first Formula 1 race ever in Mexico City he was German Michael Schumacher. A man walking down was in emotional tears of joy and I went up and greeted him kissing him Italian style offering my congratulations to Luciano Benetton, with whom I would later try to create ventures between Labatt and Benetton.

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My last time to the circuit in Mexico City was with race car driver Ryan Hunter-Reay whom I had sponsored with my Merlins drink company. Returning to Mexico City is emotional for me as I think of that driver I first met at the track and his current condition Michael Schumacher, and I recall the great times with Ryan Hunter-Reay who when I met him last I told him he was doing a great job in Indy Car and who said, “Would not have been possible without your help”.
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Walking around the paddock in Mexico City,the other day I would run into the current richest guy in the world Carlos Slim, he was really proud of the fact that the Mexican Grand Prix was back, the blog story I am sharing above I shared with him he smiled when I told him “Mexico City is just magic for me, just magic”. Will the course of my life yet take another turn? It seems it’s going in that direction.

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Carlos Slim photo by @SuttonImages

 

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GoPro Grand Prix Sonoma Championship in wine country

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Josef Newgarden wins Indy Car Alabama Grand Prix for his first win it’s all rock and roll

I first met Josef Newgarden a year ago in Toronto with Degrassi actress Sarah Fisher and team owner Sarah Fisher. I knew then that Newgarden had what it takes to be a rock star in Indy Car. When I met Newgarden I brought with me a gold Bowie guitar and he rocked it in true David Bowie style.

Today Josef Newgarden won his first Indy Car race today at the Alabama Grand Prix, and I have this feeling this kid will start to rock and roll Indy Car from here on in. So watch out, and go check out this star in the making, like Sarah Fisher her family and I did when they raced on the streets of Toronto last year.  I am gonna give you an up close look at Newgarden when Indy Car rolls into Toronto so make sure you tune in who knows if Sarah Fisher the actress is not acting or doing a concert may just get her to give you a tour Live Stream.  Keep you posted so stay tuned.
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Adam Lambert discovered Queen and Sarah Fisher of Degrassi discovers Bowie – Toronto

Adam Lambert discovered the band Queen or their music in the film ‘Wayne’s World’.  Lambert was 10 years old. As Brian May reminds fans that he has probably played for their grandparents.  Discovery in never accidental it is just meant to be.  To all those young people with dreams what this say’s is live the dream, because you just never know what is around the corner.

Sarah Fisher the young Canadian actress from Toronto who plays ‘Becky’ in Degrassi television show has never seen a David Bowie concert.  Bowie’s last tour would have been when Sarah would have been 11 years old.  So like Adam Lambert , Sarah Fisher found herself rocking with another women who began to rock Indy 500 at the age of 19, also known as Sarah Fisher who now owns the Indy team Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing.

I think if you are a Queen and Adam Lambert fan you will know the David Bowie connection to Queen, so what is the connection between Sarah Fisher’s and Bowie, they got to hold and rock the Bowie’s Jarrell guitar that is in the film David Bowie Is Around The World and the guitars are also on a world tour.

Here is some pictures from Indy Toronto with the two Sarah Fisher’s rocking it in the garage.  Today is the last show for Adam Lambert and Queen in North America and they rock it in Toronto hometown of Sarah Fisher so now you get to discover her music.  Just like Adam Lambert discovered Queen you can discover Sarah Fisher. Check it out, and remember ‘Dreams can come true’ so dream and rock life.


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Dario Franchitti The Scot Wins Pole At Honda Indy Round 1

Dario ScotterDario Franchitt fresh off his first podium finish of the year, carried that momentum into Toronto with a pole-winning run for the first of two races at Exhibition Place.
The four-time IndyCar Series champion was flawless in three rounds of Friday qualifying to coast to the top starting spot at Toronto, 1.75-mile street track where Franchitti has three career victories. It’s his fifth pole at Toronto and third on the season.
But his Target Chip Ganassi Racing team had to hustle all afternoon to repair damage to his No. 10 Honda incurred during a crashed in morning practice.
”I made it difficult this morning – I made a mistake in turn five there, took the right side off the car,” he said. ”The guys had to work and repair the car. I was able to keep finding a little bit every lap. Felt really good about that.”
Franchitti heads into this weekend’s races – IndyCar will run both Saturday and Sunday – ranked a disappointing 11th in the IndyCar standings. He’s not won a race since last year’s Indianapolis 500, and his third-place finish Sunday at Pocono was his first podium of the year.
He’s not written off his season, though.
”I’ve never looked at it that way. Whether I was first, or at one point this year I was last in the championship, so never say never,” Franchitti said. ”Until it’s mathematically impossible, you just keep fighting every week. We’ve put ourselves in a bit of a hole, but we’ll see if we can dig our way out.”
Sebastien Bourdais was second in his first appearance in the Fast Six this year. His previous best qualifying effort was seventh, and this is his first front row start since joining Dragon Racing before the 2012 season.
The 2004 winner at Toronto, Bourdais has had a miserable season and has yet to finish a race higher than 11th. He said Dragon recently discovered a way to address the understeer on his car and it showed Friday.
”We were definitely starting to wonder if we could turn the boat around a little bit,” he said. ”Definitely feels like this weekend we did. Finally I can feel like I’m doing something behind the wheel rather than going along for the ride.
”When you’ve been deep in the hole, finally you seem to be able to see some light, it feels really good. Pretty excited for the boys. It’s been a lot of work, just like everybody else, but when you don’t have the results, it’s twice as hard.”
Will Power barely advanced out of the first two rounds of qualifying and wound up third for Saturday’s 85-lap race.
Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan was fourth and was followed by James Jakes, whose previous best start at Toronto was 23rd, was fifth and followed by last week’s winner Scott Dixon.
Toronto native James Hinchcliffe failed to advance out of the first round, and Andretti Autosport teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti didn’t make it out of the second round. E.J. Viso also failed to advance out of the first round, marking the first race through 11 events this year an Andretti driver didn’t make it to the Fast Six.
Both Hunter-Reay and Andretti were plagued by Takuma Sato bringing the second session to an early end by crashing into a tire barrier.
Sato, coincidentally, ran into Hunter-Reay on Sunday on pit road – ending both drivers’ race.
”It’s frustrating,” Hunter-Reay said. ”I’d like to thank Sato forIMG_6660 knocking us out of the session again.”
Hunter-Reay is also driving with an injured hand suffered in the Pocono accident.
”It’s a concern, for sure. We don’t have any power steering at all in these cars, and when you get into an issue where you touch a wall or get in to it with another car, the wheel will whip around, and a lot of guys are hurting their thumbs, tearing ligaments and stuff like that,” he said. ”Certainly not a fun situation and not fun driving with it here at Toronto.”
Saturday will mark the debut of standing starts for IndyCar, which has been met with mixed reaction from the drivers. Many of the veterans haven’t done a standing start in 15 or more years, while some of the younger drivers have more experience in other series. IndyCar will not use standing starts for Sunday’s race.
”It’s been since 1993 that I have done a standing start. Right now, I’ll say I’m not a big fan,” said Kanaan. ”IndyCar for me, it’s always been about rolling starts. We’re talking about tradition. Maybe tomorrow I’ll end up at the end of the race saying I love it.”
Franchitti’s last standing start was British Formula 3 in 1994, and once at the Gold Coast 600 in Australia when he wrecked with teammate Scott Dixon. Power was also involved in the accident that began when Jacques Villeneuve spun.
”Will was there, because we all crashed into each other the first corner,” Franchitti said. ”Jacques spun. Next thing I see Will’s car with no wheels on it parked across the track.
I stick the thing in reverse, hand-drive the car, proceed to reverse into the front bumper of him. I look in the mirror and see Dixon shaking his head. Hopefully tomorrow’s standing start goes a bit smoother than that.”

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