Photo: Chip Ganassi Racing

Kimball’s Novo Nordisk Honda joins blue, white liveries in Toronto

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The bevy of blue and white liveries in the Verizon IndyCar Series grows by one – again – with Charlie Kimball’s No. 83 Novo Nordisk Canada Honda at Chip Ganassi Racing Teams.

With a Diabetes Canada primary message, the ordinarily black and green Tresiba Honda goes to a blue and white scheme this weekend.

The car ran without Tresiba signage in Toronto last year as well, with generic Race With Insulin signage on the car. But a great opportunity presents itself for Novo Nordisk Canada this weekend with this revised livery.

“As a global leader in diabetes care, Novo Nordisk has a responsibility to invest in initiatives that support the diabetes community,” said Brian Hilberdink, President at Novo Nordisk Canada, Inc. “Our partnership with Diabetes Canada and Charlie Kimball reinforces this commitment and we’re proud to support Charlie live his dream of driving professionally while managing his diabetes.

“Diabetes literally doesn’t slow him down and we hope his story will inspire others. The new car livery in Toronto leverages our strong corporate brand and reputation in the diabetes community in Canada, it also allows for a unique opportunity to partner with Diabetes Canada.”

Rick Blickstead, President and CEO, Diabetes Canada, added: “Diabetes is a serious disease that can have devastating health impacts. We’re proud to partner with Novo Nordisk to tell Charlie’s story, which shows that with the technology, medication and the right team – you can live well with diabetes.”

Kimball’s blue and white car means all four Ganassi cars have blue and white liveries this weekend. Tony Kanaan’s is the only primarily blue car, the No. 10 NTT Data Honda, while Scott Dixon’s No. 9 NTT Data Honda and Max Chilton’s No. 8 Gallagher Honda have different shades of blue with their white.

Others running some shade of blue on their cars this weekend include the AJ Foyt Racing pair of Conor Daly and Carlos Munoz, Dale Coyne Racing pair of Esteban Gutierrez and Ed Jones, Ed Carpenter Racing’s JR Hildebrand back in Preferred Freezer colors, and Alexander Rossi, Marco Andretti and Takuma Sato at Andretti Autosport, to make 12 of the 21 cars with some shade of blue in them.

The full Toronto spotter guide is linked here.

Usain Bolt, Bill Clinton among headline guests for USGP at COTA

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The Circuit of The Americas paddock ahead of the United States Grand Prix may have been busy with teams and drivers preparing for lights out, but much of the attention lay with a number of headline guests including former presidents and Olympic champions.

As part of its plans to up the excitement levels ahead of Sunday’s grand prix and mirror other sporting events, F1’s new owner, Liberty Media, announced plans a couple of weeks ago to link up with iconic boxing announcer Michael Buffer and eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt for the pre-race festivities.

Ahead of today’s race in Austin, Buffer will introduce the drivers in a number of groups before offering the call for drivers to start their engines, similar to the pre-race procedure for the Indianapolis 500.

Honorary race starter Bolt, who competed in his last athletic world championship event in London earlier this year, will appear on the start line to complete his signature victory pose before waving the green flags to launch the formation lap.

Bolt was also treated to a hot lap around COTA by Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton before the start of the formal pre-race build up program in Austin.

Liberty issued a list of celebrities and other public figures who are confirmed to be attending today’s race, including Verizon IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden and actor Owen Wilson among others.

One name that wasn’t on the list? 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton, who quickly became a focus for the paddock upon arrival three hours before lights out.

The United States Grand Prix is live on NBC and NBC Sports app from 2pm ET today.