Morning update from Toronto UPDATE
07/13/13 Saturday has dawned sunny and nice here in Toronto and we are in store for a lot of action. Indy Lights are on track qualifying now and Jack Hawksworth is fastest so far. Hawksworth led both practice sessions yesterday.
The IndyCars qualify for Sunday's race in about two hours.
Turn 1 is slippery this year. Whatever mix they used to repave Turn 1 it's like driving on grease according to the drivers.
“They resurfaced Turn 1,” said Dario Franchitti, the pole-sitter for Saturday’s Toronto Indy Race No. 1. “And I don’t know what they used, but I don’t think they could have made it any slipperier.
“At one point, we saw water there after Takuma Sato had driven over it. I just told my crew over the radio not to worry about it because the water couldn’t possibly make it any slipperier than it already was.”
It’s part of growing criticism coming from drivers about the alleged deteriorating state of the street circuit, which generally has been considered one of the best on the IndyCar circuit.
“It’s bloody hard to get balance here,” he said. “This track keeps getting worse every year.”
But it could be worse.
“In Detroit, it can be so rough, you feel like you are driving a rally car at times,” Franchitti said.
Whatever the case, keep your eyes on Turn 1 this weekend.
When he stepped out of his car after qualifying fourth for Saturday’s race, defending Indy 500 champ Tony Kanaan told trackside reporters that the Formula One-like standing start would take place for Sunday’s race.
Imagine his surprise when, during IndyCar’s post-qualifying press conference, he was informed that he had it backward.
“Really?” he said. “You mean the standing start is Saturday? Nobody tells me anything.”
Kanaan was then asked his thoughts on the standing start. His answer was not complimentary.
“I don’t like it,” Kanaan said. “Rolling starts are part of the tradition of IndyCar. I’m not saying standing starts aren’t OK for other series. I just think for ours, I like the rolling starts. It’s what we’ve always done.”
Because of his place as the polesitter, Franchitti was being realistic about the start.
“I like where I am,” he said. “But hey, if you stall, you are going to be hit anyway.” Mark C reporting from Toronto