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DATE News (chronologically)
07/07/11
irl
Franchitti predicts mayhem at Toronto Indy
If it was up to Dario Franchitti the start of the Honda Indy Toronto on Sunday afternoon would be an orderly affair, with the drivers respecting one another's space and holding on to their 300 km/h IZOD IndyCar machines as they negotiate Turn 1.

But the two-time winner of the Honda Indy knows that won't be the case and that mayhem will surely ensue when the green flag signals the first of 85 laps around the 11-turn Exhibition Place temporary street course.

It has been that way ever since someone decided it would be a good idea to race motorized vehicles on a prescribed track.

It just became more dangerous and more hazardous since the brain trust of the IZOD IndyCar series ruled that the cars would line up side-by-side on all starts and re-starts, never mind that always waiting about 400 meters down the road was a corner where only one car can get through at a time.

Franchitti agrees that the fans love it, watching as 26 drivers dive into that corner all believing they will be the one who will make it through unscathed. 

"We have seen some pretty big accidents, big in the number of cars that are involved," Franchitti said of the double file starts so far this season.

But he said Exhibition Place is going to make those earlier crashes look like child's play if drivers don't behave.

"Toronto is going to be difficult," Franchitti said Thursday as he looked out over Turn 1 from the old Automotive Building. "It is really narrow going into Turns 1 and 2. The way we sit in the cars if you have somebody right in front of you, you just can't see what is going on ahead of that car."

That is where the danger lies. He said that unless the driver is hyper quick to react to something happening in front, it can result in disaster.

But, he said, it can all be avoided if drivers just use common sense and employ some patience.

"So ultimately it is in our hands as drivers, both on the start and on the re-starts," Franchitti said. "My advice to all the other drivers is 'let's not be too crazy out there'.

"But you can tell drivers a hundred times to do that and it seems it doesn't make a difference."  Slam.canoe.ca

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