IndyCar legend Al Unser Jr. special guest at Honda Indy Toronto
Two-time Indy 500 winner will wave the green flag for support race
TORONTO (July 8, 2022) – “We are super excited to have racing legend Al Unser Jr. as our VIP guest at this year’s Honda Indy Toronto,” said Chris Bye, president of FEL Motorsports, the promoter of the Sports Car Championship Canada (SCCC) presented by Michelin race series which will be the featured support race that weekend.
“Little Al” or “Al Junior,” as he is affectionately called, will be among the guests at the FEL Motorsports Hospitality Suite throughout the race weekend July 15-17. Al Unser Jr. competed in Toronto’s very first Indy race known as the Molson Indy as part of the Champ Car World Series in 1986 and he won the Toronto race two years later in 1988 and again in 1990.
“It’s my pleasure to be with my friends at FEL Motorsports and to be back in Toronto, one of my favorite cities on the IndyCar circuit,” said Unser. “Toronto race fans are fortunate to have such a world-class racing event in their backyard.”
Chris Bye said, “It will be great to have Al Unser Jr. in town to see the Honda Indy Toronto festivities and to watch racing excitement on the streets of Toronto – the ‘roar by the shore.’ We’re pleased that Al Junior will be the honorary starter for our SCCC race at the Honda Indy Toronto, as he is definitely well acquainted with the green flag, having competed in a total of 427 races during his illustrious career.”
Al Unser Jr. followed in the footsteps of his father (Al Unser Sr.) and his uncle (Bobby Unser) to become a repeat champion at Indianapolis, winning the Indy 500 in 1992 and 1994. A rookie in 1983, he was the first person to compete against his own father in the same Indianapolis 500-mile race.
Little Al was the Can-Am Champion in 1982 at only 20 years of age. He ranked sixth or higher in Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) points in 12 different seasons. Winner of the CART series in 1990 and 1994, he won 34 races from 1984 through 1995. Only Michael Andretti (his boyhood friend), who had 42, won more. Among his more remarkable achievements was winning the challenging Long Beach, California, road race no less than six times, including four years in succession, 1988 through 1991. He also won two times at the famed 24 Hours of Daytona. He retired from racing in 2007.
The Unsers are the most successful family in the history of the Indianapolis 500 with a total of nine victories. Father Al Unser Sr. won the Indy 500 four times, uncle Bobby Unser won three times and the most recent two Indy 500 victories were won by Al Unser Jr. The Unsers are the only family to have multiple generations of Indy 500 winners.
Al Unser Jr’s first Indianapolis win was the closest finish in Indy 500 history. The 1992 race was among the coldest ever at Indianapolis and many of the favored drivers crashed out in the slippery conditions. Unser’s longtime rival Michael Andretti dominated the race until his car coasted to a stop with 10 laps to go.
That left Unser in the lead, but he was being caught by Toronto native Scott Goodyear who had started the race at the very back of the 33 cars. Although Goodyear had a faster car, he fell short in his run to the finish line, with Unser crossing the finish line by just 0.043 second.
“We are honoured to have the legendary Al Unser Jr. join us as our special guest at the Honda Indy Toronto, a premier racing event that was unfortunately cancelled the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Bye.
Sports Car Championship Canada (SCCC) is a series of races open to GT4 and TCR sports cars. The series, now in its second year, is a Canadian national championship. SCCC is organized by FEL Motorsports which is involved in revitalizing and reinvesting in motorsports in Canada.
Launched last year, the SCCC race series saw some of the best sports car teams and drivers in Canada competing for prizes and money.
For further information on FEL Motorsports, visit www.felmotorsports.com
About FEL Motorsports
FEL Motorsports grew out of a strong base of automotive roots from FEL Automotive Learning and Promotion. FEL Motorsports is focused on growth and sustainability in the Canadian Motorsports landscape by giving back to its teams through prizing and prize money.