Saturday, July 14, 2018

Saturday at @Hondaindy Toronto 2018

Race day 2 in the streets of Toronto brings the NASCAR Pinty's Series Grand Prix of Toronto race starting at 3:25pm. Canada's national stockcar racing series headlines the Saturday, July 14 on track action at the Honda Indy Toronto in Exhibition Place. IndyCar's first practice of the day is at 9:50am and the qualifying/Firestone Fast Six is from 1:55-3:10pm. The Verizon IndyCar race is scheduled for Sunday with driver introductions starting at 2:57pm. In the photo at top Cole Powell in the #3 NASCAR gets some practice time on Fan Friday.

NPS driver Alex Tagliani in the #18 car has the pole position after Friday's qualifying session with a time of 1:16.893 minutes and a best speed of 82.166 mph. Rounding out the top three starting positions is Marc-Antoine Camirand #22 car and Andrew Ranger in the #27 car. Nineteen cars will take to the track for the 35-lap race.
NASCAR's driver autograph session ran from noon to 1pm in the Enercare Atrium.

Saturday's qualifications and races also included the USF2000, Indy Lights and the Porsche GT3 Cup Canada.
A light rain started just after lunch but it seems to have stopped now, leaving the track a little slippery in the early afternoon. Actually, it continues to spit out which is rather refreshing unless you are driving a powerful race car which probably contributed to some of the crashes.
The number 12 car goes into the wall at Turn 4. The driver gets out okay

It should buff out
Cooper Tires trophy presenters
The Toronto Rock Lacrosse Cheerleaders
IndyCars head into Turn 1 at Princes' Gate

Looking towards pit out and BMO Field

IndyCar Practice 3 led to a combined practice results with Takuma Sato in the lead, followed by Josef Newgarden. The afternoon qualifications/Firestone Fast Six was divided into two groups, each under one of the leaders. When the smoke cleared, defending Toronto champion Josef Newgarden got a bonus cheque with the Pole Position Award. Will Josef win back to back in Toronto? Tune in tomorrow to find out.
Andrew Ranger gives the thumbs up prior to the Grand Prix of Toronto race

NASCAR Pinty's Series events started with the driver autograph session and continued with drivers at their cars at 2:50pm for a photo shoot for the fans, then drove from the NASCAR garage to pit lane. Driver intros and the National Anthem started at 3:25pm and the cars rolled out of pits at 3:35pm. Two pace laps were followed by the green flag on the Grand Prix of Toronto 2018. With 19 powerful vehicles squeezing in between the block walls of the track a number of cars were gently bruised in the racing process.
Cars 02 and 1 just before slamming into the tire barriers at Turn 5. See more of the damage below.

P1 driver Alex Tagliani led most of the race until Andrew Ranger passed on the inside of Turn 1 after a restart and held that position for the final overtime lap to the checkered flag. The margin of victory was only 1.148 seconds. Andrew in first, Alex Tagliani in second and JF Dumoulin finished third - a clean sweep of the podium by Quebec drivers.
Alex, Andrew and JF on the Pinty's Podium holding up their trophies

In the press conference following the race Andrew Ranger said that he wanted to stay with Alex, although he couldn't make a move or pass until the overtime lap. Andrew noted that it was important to start and finish a race and get to the podium so didn't push too hard on Alex, or his brakes until very late in the race. Alex was not happy being second, but said that it was a good race. His car took a hit that offset the rear and he hoped that the car would last till the checkered flag. It definitely was an exciting race that kept the crowd in the stands after the final IndyCar qualifying session had finished.

The race was 1 hour, 5 mins and 47 seconds and had 37 laps. Three cars didn't finish the race; Kerry Micks in the #02 car (accident), Larry Jackson in the #25 car (electrical) and Anthony Simone in the #95 car (rear axle).

See more of the Saturday Honda Indy Toronto after the jump.

The Champagne Shower
Post race press conference for the NASCAR Pinty's podium winners
Andrew's car in the outdoor garage area
And into the tire barrier go cars #02 and #1
Both drivers get mobile and continue down the track after the crash
James Hinchcliffe takes his scooter out of the IndyCar Paddock. Looks like he picked up a hitchhiker
You can shop for hot tubs near the Honda bridge 

Looking down Thunder Alley

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