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Notes & Quotes: Honda Indy Toronto

Canadian Phil Reia joined AJ Foyt Racing as a data acquisition engineer after working on Foyt's third entry in the 2021 Indianapolis 500 when driver J.R. Hildebrand was the highest finisher on the team. Reia now works on race weekends with the No. 14 Sexton Properties Chevrolet driven by Santino Ferrucci. We asked him a few questions...

Where were you born?

PR: "I was born in Guelph, Ontario."

Where do you live now?

PR: "I currently reside in Charlotte, North Carolina but also spend time in Scarborough, Ontario."

The above float homes are located in Bluffers Park Marina in Lake Ontario. Reia and Cory McCormick, (his girlfriend of six years) spend time there when not in Charlotte. McCormick purchased it in 2018. It’s one of 24 float homes there.

Where did you go to college (what is your specific engineering degree)?

PR: "I attended Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario and graduated from the Automotive Engineering Technologist program."

How did you become interested in motorsports?

PR: "My dad used to take me to a local oval track. He was involved with one of the teams and I became obsessed with going to the track."

Reia with his girlfriend Cory McCormick and BeeBee, their three-year-old Cocker Spaniel.

What was the first race you attended?

PR: "Probably when I was 5 years old at Flamboro Speedway, which is a one-third mile semi-banked paved oval outside of Hamilton, Ontario."

Have you ever raced cars yourself?

PR: "I raced go karts from 1989 onwards. I started with the local Waterloo Regional Kart Club racing 4-stroke karts. That led to racing 2-stroke karts in OKRA, (Ontario Kart Racing Association) that traveled to tracks all over the province. In 1995, I ran F2000 in the Jim Russell Racing School Mechanics Series."

When did you start your career as an engineer in racing?

PR: "In 1998, I worked for Multimatic as a damper technician. My first paid gig was supporting Indy Lights at Homestead Speedway. My first season I supported Indy Lights, Formula Atlantics and sports cars."

Please list major series you've worked in (year/series/ team)

From 1998 through 2003, I did Damper support for Dynamic Suspension (Multimatic) and worked with these teams: Brian Stewart Racing (Indy Lights), P1 Racing (Formula Atlantic), Doyle Risi (Sports Cars - Prototype), and Oreca with the Viper GT1 factory program. From 2003 - 2013, I worked at MoTeC USA as a Data Acquisition technician and supported various teams in NASCAR, IMSA, Trans Am and World Challenge. For the next five years I worked as a data engineer in the World Challenge Series for Black Dog Speed Shop. I also worked as a data engineer for the Action Express Cadillac program. From 2017 - 2021, I was the Data Engineer for CD Racing in Trans Am. And then I came to AJ Foyt Racing where I work on race weekends as a data acquisition engineer. In 2014, I started Race Beat Inc., a motorsports electronics supply company ("

What are the most significant achievements or memorable moments in your career?

PR: "Winning the 2018 Daytona 24 Hour overall, finishing third in the 2023 Indy 500 and

competing at LeMans in 2005 and 2011."

How did you come to work for AJ Foyt Racing?

PR: "In 2020, I did a one-off Indy 500 with Dragonspeed. I kept in contact with the Chevy tech and that led to connecting me to AJFR to help on the third car for Indy in 2021."

What are the biggest challenges of working in the NTT INDYCAR Series?

PR: "The pace of a race weekend. Things happen fast and everyone works in unison. Everyone has to do their part to make it all work."

What do you enjoy most about working in the INDYCAR Series?

PR: "The competition is exciting. Almost anyone can be a contender on any given weekend because the field is so close."

What interests do you have outside of racing?

PR: "Mountain biking and snowboarding are my favorite ways to spend time off. We recently got a travel van so hoping to ‘van life’ more in the future."

SANTINO FERRUCCI returns to Toronto for the first time since he competed there as a rookie in 2019. The event will be Ferrucci's fourth street course showing in the No. 14 Sexton Properties Chevrolet this year.

"I very much enjoyed racing at the Toronto Street course in 2019. We definitely had a strong weekend

considering it was my first time there as a rookie. I do very much look forward to coming back to Toronto even though the car is different and I’m in a different team. We’ve been working very hard and very diligently on our street course set up to try and improve from the team last year. Unfortunately, this is one of the few tracks I can’t practice on my simulator so I will be relying on old videos and notes."

Ferrucci Fast Facts: Age 25...Born in Woodbury, CT...Lives in Dallas, Texas...Began racing karts at age 5, moved to cars in 2013...Competed in Formula 2000, British Formula 3, GP3 finishing third at Spa Francorchamps as a rookie, was development driver for Haas F1 team for three years (2016-2018), moved to Formula 2 in 2018...made his INDYCAR debut in Detroit in 2018...moved to NTT INDYCAR Series fulltime in 2019 finishing 13th in standings for Dale Coyne and won Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year after finishing seventh...13th in standings again with fourth place finish in the 500...drove part-time in 2021-22 but maintained top-10 streak in Indy 500 with finishes of sixth (RLL Racing) and 10th (Dreyer Reinbold Racing)...Scored career best finish to date this year with his 3rd place finish in the Indianapolis 500...Competed part-time in NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2021-22.

BENJAMIN PEDERSEN will be making his 10th start in the NTT INDYCAR Series and first start on the streets of Toronto.

"This will be my first time in Toronto. I haven't raced there in any Junior Formula series, but I am really

excited to learn a new track and it looks like a very enjoyable street circuit. We will be racing against guys that have a lot of experience, guys that have literally been there for 20 years. The team has had a lot of success in the past on street circuits so I am excited to see what we can accomplish together.

"In terms of prep, the big thing is looking at video and data and trying to get as much sim time as possible. It will really be just getting up to speed as quickly as possible, getting the car in a window where it is performing and getting the most lap time out of it as possible. I am really focused on giving the team a strong result."

Pedersen Fast Facts: Age 24...Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, moved to Seattle at age 4 and is now living in Indianapolis...Began racing karts at a young age and has competed and won races in the INDY NXT by Firestone Series, British Formula 3, FR Americas Championship, F4 US Championship...Earned Rookie of the Year award in the Indianapolis 500 after setting a record for the fastest qualifying lap by a rookie (233.297mph). Enjoys golf, pickleball, skiing, soccer, snowmobiling, mountain biking, dirt biking.

Past Performance at Toronto: Santino Ferrucci competed there in 2019, qualifying 17th and finishing 11th. Benjamin Pedersen will be making his first start on the 1.8-mile street course.

The Foyt team’s best start is eighth with Takuma Sato in 2015; their best finish is third with Mike Conway in 2012.

Last Race: The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio capped a frustrating weekend for the team. Ferrucci finished 24th and Pedersen finished 26th.

The Honda Indy Toronto will be streamed live exclusively on Peacock on Sunday starting at 1:30 pm ET. The race will also be streamed live on and broadcast on Sirius-XM and the INDYCAR Radio Network. The Friday and Saturday practice sessions plus qualifying will be streamed live on Peacock and and broadcast on Sirius-XM and the INDYCAR Radio Network.


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