Toronto Practice 2: Franchitti on top again
Dario Franchitti had a positive start to the race weekend at Exhibition Place, topping the first day of practice with a lap of 1:00.2786 (104.813 mph). Rookie Simon Pagenaud was second quick (1:00.3904) in the No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports car. Franchitti's Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Scott Dixon, who was runner-up in the race last July, was third at 1:00.5423.
The top 21 cars were separated by 1 second. Practice (9:45 a.m. ET) and the three rounds of qualifications (1 p.m. ET) are scheduled for July 7.
Justin Wilson was fourth on the time chart (1:00.6485) in the No. 18 Sonny's BBQ car for Dale Coyne Racing and Ryan Briscoe (1:00.6936) was fifth in the No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske entry.
Wilson was involved in a pit lane incident early in the morning session when his car "refused to go into neutral" and slid into the No. 7 Dragon Racing car of Sebastien Bourdais.
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda): "We went out in the second practice session and had the same fuel cell issue that prevented us from running in the first session. Conditions should be quite a bit different for the rest of the race weekend though so hopefully we haven't lost much. The team's going to find the problem tonight and we'll be ready to go tomorrow."
DARIO FRANCHITI (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): "I hope being fast in both the morning and afternoon session is good for tomorrow. Scott and I have been going in two different on set-up and I ran two different set-ups and both were pretty good so I am not sure what direction we'll go with set-up tomorrow. Typical Toronto - it's as challenging as ever - from concrete to asphalt - smooth to bumps and areas with no grip. For day one we are happy with the Target car and we'll make some changes to go faster tomorrow and try to stay up front. It's always good to race here -we'll just put the best car we can on the track and hope to run up front."
SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Honda): "It went very well. We went off of what we had in Detroit, and it's a good surprise that it's working well. It's a nice track here, it's difficult because there's so many tarmac changes, but it's tricky for us drivers, it's actually a good exercise. These guys [Dario Franchitti] have got a lot more experience here, but I'm glad I'm training him. Hope I can do the same tomorrow, but I can say that the team did a fantastic job preparing the car, and you know it's nice to see two Hondas up there."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): "Traffic was our biggest problem, really. My fastest lap came on Lap 12 of the session when the tires had already started going off. We actually should have been fastest around lap five, but that's traffic - and traffic is Toronto."
ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): "Our day started out pretty promising in the first session. We just got sticker Firestones on the car at the end and we felt good about the setup. But I got caught in traffic. We didn't get a chance to improve like we wanted. We tried some things in the second practice that we thought would be good, but the track changed on us. We didn't have a good car. I was happy out we started the day and disappointed how we finished the day. Tomorrow could be a lot different with the weather too. It may rain and may not be this hot too. That throws out everything we worked on today. We have to do a reset and figure out what will work best for Saturday."
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO (No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy Lotus HVM Racing Lotus): "It was a pretty good session. We only used one set of tires. It's kind of hard to say what everybody else did, but I think we improved the car; on the engine side too. We made some big progress so I'm pretty happy about that. We'll have to see in qualifying. That's when we'll know where we're at. I'm really happy with the race car. Now we'll just work hard tonight to make it even better."
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): "Good first day out there in the Verizon car. We were able to improve on what we learned in the first session and made it a productive day on the track. I am certainly pleased with how the Chevy engine felt out there and we should have a great chance going into qualifying tomorrow which is where you want to be."
RYAN BRISCOE (No. 2 PPG Automotive Refinishes Team Penske Chevrolet): "The track is for the most part the same, but they have resurfaced the backstraight and widened it up a bit which opened up the passing lane into 2 and 3 so I think that will be really good for the racing. I am looking forward to the race. The Hitachi car has been good so far in practice and I think we can still make improvements. It's been a challenge getting the tires to work in this heat and get a consistent balance but I think we are in a good spot to try to go faster tomorrow."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet): "The Penske Truck Rental machine did a fantastic job and I know the crew is working really hard to make it better. We were able to make some great progress from practice one to practice two, which is what you want. The Toronto track just keeps improving and we hope to do the same."
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 38 Service Central Honda): "Overall, I would say, it's been a tough day. We're struggling to find a balance in the car. This is a place we always run well, and I think we will get stronger tomorrow. I feel like we just have a lot to improve on. We didn't quite get a new tire-run in there at the end after we spun. It just kind of hurt the tires and we had to go from there. I think we found some stuff in our very last run. We had two laps and started the lap over three-10ths down on my best and ended the lap at the same time, so we found three-10ths somewhere. Now it's a matter of putting it together when it counts."
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 NovoRapid FlexTouch Honda): "It was a really good first day here at Toronto. The Honda Indy is always a fun event and it's great to see the Canadian fans out. I think the No. 83 NovoRapid FlexTouch car is good shape. We missed a little bit on new tires in the second session, as the track rubbered in. I think the whole Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing crew is working really hard, having good pit stops and having a lot of fun today. It's great to be here in Toronto and the fans are really good to have."
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 27 Team GoDaddy.com Chevrolet): "Unfortunately, today is a day to forget really. It's too bad what happened the second session because with the first session not going too smoothly, we were really looking to make some gains. Hopefully, we can learn a lot off what Marco (Andretti) and Ryan (Hunter-Reay) accomplished, but it's just putting us on the back foot - not only with setting the car up but with the engine penalty as well. Certainly it makes it more a challenging weekend than we wanted, but at the end of the day it's still possible for the Go Daddy car to move forward. Last time we got an engine penalty we were able to come back and finished on the podium. So we may be down but we're certainly not out."
TAKUMA SATO (No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda): "It was a good day. Considering the amount of time we had in practice was relatively short, we learned a lot. We tried a couple of different setups to find out ride height, gearing and etc. as the team hasn't been here for a long time. We made good progress; I'm reasonably happy with the balance. We will look at all of the data and hopefully continue to make progress tomorrow." (About Push to Pass:) "Today we tried the extra boost; the extra power feels good. We need to work on the gearing for that but it seems to be good for overtaking as well as defending. I'm not sure how many times we will be able to use it or how long it will last each time but it is definitely a good tool for the race."
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Team Dr Pepper Chevrolet): "We struggled with the changing surfaces on the track, mostly the patches in the pavement. But it's the same for everyone. If you look at the lap times, we're only three-tenths (of a second) slower than Ryan (Hunter-Reay). But, that's 12 spots on the grid, so that shows how close everyone is. We'll take a look at how our car matches-up with theirs (Hunter-Reay), and if we can match him, we'll be good. The key at this place is to keep your nose clean. That's how we did so well last year, we stayed clean and were able to pass cars on the restarts to finish fourth."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Chevrolet): "We weren't where we wanted to be, but we found the areas that we can improve the car for tomorrow's qualifying session. We have some work to do, but I'm confident we'll find it so we can close the gap. It's another reminder how tight the competition is in the IZOD IndyCar Series right now. If you're off by a few tenths (of a second), you're struggling to stay in the top 10."
TONY KANAAN (No. 11 GEICO /Mouser Electronics- KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): "It was an OK first day of practice. It's unfortunate that I was running my fastest lap, which would have put second in the afternoon practice, when the red flag came out, but that's racing. I am getting more comfortable with the car, so I am hoping that we will have a good qualifying tomorrow."
RUBENS BARRICHELLO (No. 8 BMC/Embrase - KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): "The first session we had a problem with the throttle pedal, which we were able to resolve in time for the second session. I was then able to learn the track a lot better, however I still have some issues regarding the bumps and how to set up the car. I am getting there and hopefully tomorrow I will have a better idea of what to do."
E.J. VISO (No. 5 CITGO-PDVSA KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): "We took maximum advantage of today's practice sessions. In the first session we went with a conservative setup. It is a setup that we have developed throughout the year. For the second session we gambled with some changes. Some of them worked, some did not, but now we know what we need to do for tomorrow. Toronto is always a nice place to race and they have made some changes to the track that are positive."
||Pagenaud, Simon (R)
||de Silvestro, Simona