Saturday, July 16, 2016

Saturday at Honda Indy Toronto 2016

The schedule was full with five races and a number of qualification and practice rounds as the race action started early in the morning of day two. Initial qualification and practice events took place before noon with the first race - a USF2000 race, taking place just shy of midday and the last race starting at 6:15pm. Ps tall boy beers are going for $10.25.
After the heat of the first day, the second day turned a lot more comfortable and Thunder Alley and Speed Zones were filling with people enjoying the activities and vendors in the infield. With all the changes caused by BMO Field and the new hotel, the IndyCar paddock was relocated from the infield to inside the Enercare Centre. Autograph sessions including the IndyCar and Nascar Pinty's Series drivers meeting with fans in the atrium of the Enercare Centre.
The Verizon IndyCar Series qualification was in the afternoon just before race #1 of the Stadium Super Trucks. After the SST truck ramps were taken down and stored for Sunday's second race, the heavy stock cars from Nascar took to the track at 3:45pm for the Pinty's Grand Prix of Toronto. Winning the race was Alex Tagliani followed by Andrew Ranger and Kevin Lacroix.
Alex waves the checkered flag in Victory Circle

Alex finished the 37 lap, 1.786 Mile Pinty's GP of Toronto with a best lap speed of 82.045 miles/hour and leading Andrew by only 0.184 seconds.
Andrew, Alex and Kevin

Tomorrows big race is the Verizon IndyCar Honda Indy Toronto. The pre-race starts at 2:30pm, the call to start their engines goes out at 3:08pm and the green flag drops at 3:15pm. There will be two flyovers of jet fighters during Pre-race. 
Mascot Firehawk
Toronto Argonauts Cheerleaders will be the 2016 Grid Girls
Stadium Super Trucks

Fastest times for the IndyCar practice session were for Sebastian Bourdais at 1:00.6035 followed by Simon Page and and Will Power.
Three segments were used to award the Verizon pole position (P1 award): two groups of cars each get ten minutes of track time with the fastest six from each group advancing to the next round. These 12 cars will compete for ten minutes to find the fastest six cars. These cars battle it out in the Firestone Fast Six for 6 minutes.  22 cars qualified for the race with Marco Andretti in the Dr Pepper #27 car landing in the last starting position.  I miss the Dr Pepper Stand and their sample give aways, they do not have a grandstand at turn 11 anymore.
Scott Dixon, winner of the 2013 Toronto race,  captured the pole position for tomorrow's headline IndyCar race,  his first for 2016 and his second in Toronto.

Scott Dixon was disappointed early in his P1 qualifying,  however in his second to last lap he managed to pick up speed.  "I just stayed on it and obviously, a smooth run in the latter part. I kind of made a little mistake in turn 8 but I'm so happy for the Target guys.  They've done a hell of a job." 
Helio Castroneves qualified second and Simon Pagenaud qualified third.  Our local hero James Hinchcliffe qualified sixth which is his a best for him in Toronto. 
James said "It's such a tough track out here with the conditions,  the surface changes,  the bumps obviously,  but they did what they had to do and gave me a car that could get up there."

Lake Shore Boulevard as a racetrack
USF2000 series

IndyCar driver autograph session

GT3 touring cars

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