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Honda Indy kicks off, drivers battle 50°C temperatures inside the cockpit

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Digital writers
theweathernetwork.com

Friday, July 12, 2013, 9:43 AM -

Start your engines...The Honda Indy kicks off in Toronto on Friday.

Unlike last year, when temperatures soared past the 30-degree mark, the Indy will start off on a much fresher note this year. 

After an extremely hot and humid start to the week, a cold front that pushed through on Wednesday has helped to clear the air.

"However, initially dry and fresh conditions will give way to a return to heat over the weekend and into next week with increasing humidity," warns Dayna Vettese, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. 

As a result, spectators are urged to wear sunscreen and drink lots of water to stay hydrated. 

The Travelers Network also suggests that you plan ahead for Indy traffic as getting around the city may be difficult this weekend.

Honda Indy President, Charlie Johnstone says the races will run, no matter the weather.

"We'll race rain or shine until the track gets dangerous, until it starts to pool, we'll still be racing."


EMILY AT THE INDY: Tune into The Weather Network on TV as Emily Vukovic reports LIVE from the Honda Indy on Saturday.


Heating up inside the cockpit 

While weather conditions this weekend may be ideal for spectators, how do the drivers feel about the heat? 

Scorching temperatures, dehydration and fatique. Drivers say battling the heat inside their car can be worse than the actual race itself. 

"When you're sitting in a race car and the engine makes 600+ horsepower, all that heat radiates back through the fire wall to where you're sitting," professional race car driver Ron Fellows told The Weather Network. "You're wearing a heavy racing suit, non-breathable, a helmet, gloves, essentially prepared for the winter, but it's 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celcius) inside the car."

Racers are able to stay hydrated at every pit stop, but they're also equipped with an on-board water system hooked up to their helmets. 

"Drinking water during the race is crucial," says Fellows. "You recognize physically when you're getting a little over heated and when it's time to reduce the amount of energy that you're expending driving the car and keep drinking the fluids." 

The Honda Indy Toronto, Ontario's largest annual sporting event, takes place July 12-14 on the streets surrounding Exhibition Place near Lake Ontario and downtown Toronto. For the first time in event history, the 2013 Honda Indy Toronto will feature two INDYCAR races in one weekend, on Saturday and Sunday.

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