Simon Pagenaud fastest driver after second Honda Indy Toronto practice

17 Juillet, 2017, 20:51 | Author: Lucrece Courtet

The Honda Indy Toronto is IndyCar's only global event, and the league's sole Canadian driver James Hinchcliffe will be looking to pick up his second win of the 2017 IndyCar season in front of his home crowd at Exhibition Place.

Pagenaud was last season's Verizon IndyCar Series champion and is searching for his second victory of the season after winning in Phoenix in April.

Newgarden won this race back in 2015. He'd done better at Baltimore and Sao Paulo, both of which dropped off the schedule after 2013.

Team Penske's Josef Newgarden claimed his second victory of the 2017 season and his second at Toronto over the past three seasons.

"I thought we had a very fast auto, we got a pretty good start, and stayed out of the mayhem", Newgarden said. "It's so awesome feeling the energy back in this event, it's obviously one that has meant a lot to me for a long time".

"I was concerned about that and how it would throw a wrench into the works", Newgarden said.

"I think getting the Fast Six in qualifying was through pure commitment on that one-lap run in Q2 more than us having great stints in the vehicle". "I don't think I've seen the grandstands that full here, certainly since I've been behind the wheel".

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"It's kind of a weird feeling because there's some groups that are fairly equal side to side and one little thing that you feel very vulnerable", Bourdais said. I think you are just going to have to be conservative, but aggressive at the same time. "The more you do it, the more you drive the cars, the easier it all becomes". Honda drivers did, however, take three of the top 4 spots, five of the top 7 spots and nine of the top 12 spots in the race despite not showing great speed in practices.

Hinchcliffe's result was his third podium finish on a road course this season.

Dixon retains his title advantage over Castroneves, but the gap has been cut to just three points. Add in a Texas crash, contact with the wall in Phoenix and a mechanical issue at Long Beach, and it's an incomplete picture. Pagenaud and Rahal also had yet to pit so when they did, they went to the bottom half of the field. The Oakville, Ont., native was seventh in the morning run and finished third at last year's race. Honda has a 100-point lead over Chevy for the overall Manufacturer's Championship.

Hoffman returned this year as a spectator while Ryan O'Reilly gave the starting command for the NASCAR Pinty's Series race Saturday. Newgarden is fifth in the point standings.

Interestingly, street courses have been a major killer for Will Power this year.

The Final Word: (Graham Rahal No. 15 RLL Rousseau Metal Honda): "The course is very similar to Detroit (where he won twice in June) in many ways".

The Andretti Autosport driver almost lost control with only five laps remaining.

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