Bourdais wins from pole in Toronto
|Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 11 car of Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser takes the checkered flag in race 1|
|Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing|
No. 11 was key. No. 11 Sebastien Bourdais had not won an IndyCar race since 11/11/2007 in Mexico City and today he was just as untouchable as he was back in Mexico City on the 11th of the 11th month.
Bourdais had his way on Sunday morning leading 58 of 65 laps on his way to winning the first race of a doubleheader in the Honda Grand Prix of Toronto by 3.3408 seconds over Verizon IndyCar Series championship front-runner Helio Castroneves on the 1.755-mile Exhibition Place street circuit.
"He dominated from start to finish and we're very proud of him," team co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven said. "He's had some unlucky breaks but showed today what a strong driver he is."
Tony Kanaan was third for Ganassi Racing.
Simon Pagenaud and Scott Dixon rounded out the top-5.
IndyCar finally got a race underway Sunday morning in Toronto and immediately had to red-flag the race due to an accident involving several cars. When they did finally go green for real, Sebastien Bourdais grabbed the lead and pulled away while Ryan Hunter-Reay passed several cars to move up to 2nd place ahead of Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan and Luca Filippi.
That was until Filippi clipped the wall and broke his right rear suspension and Carlos Huertas found the turn 3 barriers.
After track went green again the order at the front stayed constant with Bourdais pulling away again. from there Bourdais pretty much had his way the remainder of the race to get his first win with KVSH Racing and not likely his last.
Bourdais broke a tie with Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy for eighth on the all-time IndyCar win list.
"It's really sweet. We had to fight and wait for it for a long time but today was just kind of one of these days when the stars align," said Bourdais, who earned the Verizon P1 Award on July 19. "I guess I was not expecting it because here I know how things can go. Last year we were second and third and it's great to get this win."
Race 2, featuring a standing start, is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. (ET). The lineup for the companion 65-lap race on the 1.755-mile, 11-turn street circuit at Exhibition Place will be set by entrant points following Race 1. Castroneves and Team Penske teammate Will Power will be on the front row. Both races carry full points.
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 11 Hydroxycut KVSH Racing Chevrolet): “It’s really sweet. That (win) didn’t come easy. We had to fight and wait for it for a long time but today was just one of these days when the stars align. I guess I was not expecting it because here I know how things can go. I was very relaxed before the race, just did the job and was hoping that things were going to pan out in our favor and they did and, couldn’t be any happier with this one." (About running over debris): “It looks like it was Ryan’s car or something. It was very worrisome. It was like 20 laps to go or something and after that you start to be totally paranoid and you start to feel things that don’t exist and it didn’t matter, the tires stick together. Thanks Firestone."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet): “It was a hard weekend, but we’re going to make the best out of it. Right now, Second place isn’t too bad. Certainly we had a good battle in the beginning. Had to work a little bit for it. Had to save energy because I knew there is another race but the car was working really well, and towards the end, it was a little bit closer out there with two slow cars and, I didn’t know where to go. But, in the end of the day, the PPG car did a great job. Now let’s see for the second one. (About points ): “You’ve got to capitalize on those opportunities, even if it’s an odd weekend. We have to take advantage of it and that’s what we did."
TONY KANAAN (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “It was an OK race. I think Bourdais was in a class of his own, so it was pretty hard to fight for the win but I tried to keep up with Helio (Castroneves) and (Ryan) Hunter-Reay at the time and I knew my car, towards the end of the stint, it wasn’t as good as theirs so I was just trying to hang in there. We had a pretty good stop, pretty good start. So, it’s an OK day. We still have a little bit to improve, I think, if we want to win races but we’re heading in the right direction."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “It wasn’t too bad of a race for the Target team. We gained a few spots there at the beginning but the car was very loose and we tried to make a change to help it in the one stop that we had. I don’t think we were aggressive enough on the change but it was ok for the first five or 10 laps and then we struggled with the rear tires. Overall third and fifth isn’t bad for Team Target."
JACK HAWKSWORTH (No. 98 Bowers & Wilkins Honda): “A bit of an interesting race, we started quite strong in the beginning and were able to beat a few people in different instances and gain a few positions. We were in P8 for a lot of it, but it didn’t quite work out the way we wanted in the end. We’ll try and get better in the second race."
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 National Guard Honda): “A top six feels good. We had a very solid race. I got a couple of guys on the start and then thankfully avoided the crash and really just stayed out of trouble. I made a few passes throughout the race but I think the key was to stay out of trouble and we did and got a top six. Obviously we would have liked to continue to push the National Guard car forward but we’ll take it. We were able to learn what the car would do over the entire race and that’s a big perk for us. We’ve got to keep working. We’ve got a long one ahead of us and a lot of laps. I think there is a great opportunity for us to continue to gain some points on guys that we’re around (in the standings) and we’ll go from there."
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): "The Verizon Chevy car was good today and it was a good finish for Race #1. There was a lot of good racing going on everywhere. It'll be exciting to see what happens in Race #2. We just want to finish closer to the front."
LUCA FILIPPI (No. 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda): “My front wing was damaged on the right side from the opening lap so I was struggling with so much understeer because of the downforce we were losing and I had also worn the front right (tire). On that lap I just went a little off the racing line because of the extra understeer and went on the marbles and hit the wall and that was it. It’s such a shame because I was keeping the pace with the guys up front and everything was going well. I think we have a good pace for the second race. We just need to try to overtake people because we are starting from entrant points so we’re starting dead last. I will do my best."
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 67 Hartman Oil/Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda): “Sunday started off a bit rough for us. Right at the start we got ourselves into a bit of a mess with the stack up in front of us and then getting hit from behind. The crew did a great job and we got the car fixed. We didn't lose a lap which was stellar. We had to serve a penalty for it but not losing a lap was a big deal. We tried to do what we could to claw our way back up and kept finding ourselves in rotation with other cars, and at the end there I pushed too hard and tried to make too much happen. What are you going to do when you're fighting for 10th? I gave it a shot but I pushed too far."
MIKE CONWAY (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): “We were just saving a lot of fuel from the midway of the race to the end. And you are looking in your mirrors a lot, making sure you don’t get overtaken. I did make it to the end and did overtake some people. Then on my last move on the last lap, I tried to get by (Jack) Hawksworth (for 13th) into turn three and I got hung out to dry. Then (Carlos) Huertas stuck his nose inside at turn five and I couldn’t hold him off. I think our pace is a little better in the race and especially with reds (Firestone tires). Rubber is going down now on the surface for the second race so maybe the car will come to us better. At the start, I meant to stop and not hit Simon (Pagenaud) but the car spun around. I didn’t hit anything. But I stalled the engine and I had to wait to have the safety team to restart me. That put us towards the back then."
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 2 Hawk Team Penske Chevrolet): "I made a mistake staying on red tires and the tires just went away. When you're competing there's nothing you can do but just get out of the way. But we will just look forward to Race #2 and go for it again with hopes for a better finish for the Hawk Chevrolet."
MIKHAIL ALESHIN (No. 7 SMP Racing Honda): “We had a safe strategy in Race 1, and I think collecting the points we did is important. We didn't want to risk too much. I definitely wouldn't say that I was the fastest driver on the track, but at the end of the race I had some nice overtakes on other drivers. It was a fun race, and it's great that the car is in one piece. We've only got four hours to get ready for the next race, and our team is happy and ready to go do this again."
|18||2||Juan Pablo Montoya||64||1 LAPS||6.5314||3||0||22||Chevy||417|
|19||17||Sebastian Saavedra||64||1 LAPS||0.2127||3||0||16||Chevy||220|
|20||67||Josef Newgarden||63||1 LAPS||22.6357||5||0||10||Honda||270|
|21||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||39||15 LAPS||14 LAPS||3||0||3||Honda||448|
|22||16||Luca Filippi||17||34 LAPS||21 LAPS||2||0||6||Honda||32|
|23||14||Takuma Sato||10||45 LAPS||7 LAPS||2||0||12||Honda||204|
Winner's average speed: 90.370
Time of Race: 01:15:44.3232
Margin of victory: 3.3408
Cautions: 2 for 5 laps
Lead changes: 3 among 3 drivers
Bourdais 1 – 33
Pagenaud 35 – 40
Bourdais 41 – 65
Point Standings: Castroneves 512, Power 484, Pagenaud 454, Hunter-Reay 448, Montoya 417, Munoz 371, Dixon 361, Andretti 351, Kanaan 340, Bourdais 336.