James Hinchcliffe sets up for Turn 5 during practice for the Honda Indy Toronto — Photo by: Joe Skibinski
Track: Streets of Toronto’s Exhibition Place, an 11-turn, 1.755-mile temporary street course
Race distance: 85 laps / 149.175 miles
Push-to-pass parameters: 10 activations for 20 seconds each
Firestone tire allotment: Four sets primary, three sets alternate
Twitter: @HondaIndy, @IndyCar, #IndyTO, #IndyCar
Event website: http://www.HondaIndyToronto.com
INDYCAR website: http://www.IndyCar.com
2015 race winner: Josef Newgarden (No. 67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet)
2015 Verizon P1 Award winner: Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet), 59.4280 seconds, 106.314 mph
Qualifying record: Gil de Ferran, 57.143 seconds, 110.565 mph, July 17, 1999
NBCSN television broadcasts: Qualifying, 1:30 p.m. ET Saturday, July 16 (live); Race, 2:30 p.m. ET Sunday, July 17, CNBC/Sportsnet 360 (live); 5:30 p.m. ET Sunday, July 17, NBCSN (re-air); Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer for the NBCSN broadcasts this weekend alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Pit reporters are Jon Beekhuis, Kevin Lee, Katie Hargitt and Robin Miller.
Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. Jake Query and Nick Yeoman are the turn announcers with Dave Furst, Rob Howden and Jim Murphy reporting from the pits. All Verizon IndyCar Series races are broadcast live on network affiliates, Sirius 212, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app. All Verizon IndyCar Series practice and qualifying sessions are available on IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app.
Video streaming: All practice sessions for the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season not covered by television will be available on RaceControl.IndyCar.com.
INDYCAR Mobile app: Verizon Wireless puts fans around the world in the driver’s seat with its INDYCAR Mobile app. The app has been enhanced with new features to keep fans in the know of the latest race-day action. Exclusive features of the INDYCAR Mobile app for Verizon Wireless customers will stream live through the app and includes enhanced real-time leaderboard and car telemetry; the ability to follow the race in real time with the interactive 3D track; live in-car camera video streaming for select drivers during Verizon IndyCar Series races; live driver and pit crew radio transmissions during races and live Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network audio streaming during all track activities.
At-track schedule (all times local):
Friday, July 15
10 – 10:45 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #1, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
2:30 – 3:15 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #2, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
Saturday, July 16
9:45 – 10:30 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #3, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
1:30 p.m. – Qualifying for the Verizon P1 Award (three rounds of knockout qualifying), NBCSN (Live)
Sunday, July 17
10:30 – 11 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series warmup, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
2:30 p.m. – Driver Introductions
3:08 p.m. – Command to Start Engines
3:15 p.m. – Honda Indy Toronto (85 laps/149.175 miles), CNBC/SportsNet 360 (Live)
• There have been seven different winners in the 10 previous Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2016: Juan Pablo Montoya (Streets of St. Petersburg), Scott Dixon (Phoenix International Raceway), Simon Pagenaud (Streets of Long Beach, Barber Motorsports Park and Grand Prix of Indianapolis), Alexander Rossi (Indianapolis 500), Sebastien Bourdais (Raceway at Belle Isle-1), Will Power (Raceway at Belle Isle-2 and Road America) and Josef Newgarden (Iowa Speedway). Dixon’s win at Phoenix on April 2 tied him for fourth on the all-time Indy car victory list with Al Unser at 39. He is the active leader in wins. Bourdais’ win at Belle Isle on June 4 tied him with Bobby Unser for sixth on the all-time list with 35 wins. Power’s win at Road America on June 26 tied him with Johnny Rutherford for 13th all-time with 27.
• The Honda Indy Toronto will be the 32nd Indy car race on the streets of Exhibition Place. Newgarden won the race in 2015.
• The Honda Indy Toronto will be the eighth race on a road/street course in 2016. The first six races were won by Montoya (St. Petersburg), Pagenaud (Long Beach, Barber and Grand Prix of Indianapolis), Bourdais (Belle Isle-1) and Power (Belle Isle-2 and Road America).
• Bourdais, Dixon and Power have each won twice at Toronto, the most wins by an active Indy car driver at the track. They are among the five past Toronto winners entered in this year’s race, along with Ryan Hunter-Reay (2012) and Newgarden (2015). Michael Andretti has the most wins at the track with seven.
• The Verizon IndyCar Series champion has won in Toronto in four of the last seven seasons. Dario Franchitti, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Dixon all won on the streets of Toronto before eventually claiming the championship. Franchitti won in 2009 and again in 2011. Hunter-Reay won in 2012 and Dixon swept both races in 2013. Seven other drivers have claimed the Indy car championship in the same season they won at Toronto. They are: Bobby Rahal (1986), Al Unser Jr. (1990), Michael Andretti (1991), Alex Zanardi (1998), Cristiano da Matta (2002), Paul Tracy (2003) and Bourdais (2004).
• Drivers who have won poles at Toronto entered in this year’s race are: Bourdais (2014 Race 1, 2007, 2005, 2004), Dixon (2013 Race 2), Power (2011 and 2015) and Helio Castroneves (2000). Castroneves also started on pole in Race 2 in 2014 but was awarded the pole based on entrant points.
• Bourdais has finished in the top 10 in 11 of his 12 races at Toronto, including his wins in 2004 and 2014 Race 1. He has finished on the podium in three of the last five Toronto races. Dixon has finished on the podium in three of the last seven races at Toronto. He has nine top-five finishes in 11 starts.
• Nineteen drivers entered in the event have competed in Indy car races at Toronto. Castroneves and Tony Kanaan (13) have the most starts among the entered drivers. Eleven of those drivers have led laps at the track (Bourdais 188, Power 151, Dixon 95, Castroneves 77, Newgarden 37, Hunter-Reay 36, Pagenaud 30, Graham Rahal 23, Kanaan 7, Luca Filippi 2 and Charlie Kimball 2).
• Chip Ganassi Racing has won six times at Toronto: Michael Andretti (1994), Zanardi (1998), Franchitti (2009 and 2011) and Dixon (2013, both races). Team Penske has two wins at the track (Tracy 1993 and Power 2010). It has seven pole positions at the track: Danny Sullivan (1988 and 1990), Emerson Fittipaldi (1993), Castroneves (2000), Gil de Ferran (2001) and Power (2011 and 2015).
• Three rookies – Max Chilton, Conor Daly and Rossi – are entered. Rossi leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings by 91 points over Daly, with Chilton 125 points behind.
• Kanaan seeks to start his 260th consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Teammate Dixon has made 201 consecutive starts heading into the weekend, which is the third-longest streak in Indy car racing.
• Castroneves will attempt to make his 322nd career Indy car start, which ranks fourth on the all-time list. Kanaan would break a tie with Al Unser for fifth all-time with his 321st start.
• The 2016 season is the second in which aerodynamic bodywork component kits are used. The aero kits, produced by engine manufacturers Chevrolet and Honda for their respective supplied teams, are the latest technical innovation to enhance on-track performance through competitive aerodynamic development. Each manufacturer produces two kits for teams – one for short ovals/road courses/street courses and another for superspeedway ovals – but within each kit, teams have multiple component options available.
• The second season of aero kit competition complements the fifth year of engine manufacturer competition between Chevrolet and Honda with their 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engines. It will be another season testing speed and durability to determine the manufacturer champion.
HONDA INDY TORONTO PRE-EVENT QUOTES:
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 2 DeVilbiss Team Penske Chevrolet): “We’ve got to get our consistency back. It has been a little up and down lately for the DeVilbiss Chevrolet team. We had a great car last week at Iowa and had that mechanical problem. It happens to everyone, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating. I’m looking forward to Toronto and getting some momentum going for the final part of the season. My results at Toronto don’t look that great, but we’ve been more competitive than it shows. If we can get a little good luck, then I think we’ll have a good weekend up there.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet): “Toronto has been pretty good to us overall. It’s such a great city to visit. On the track, we’ve done pretty well over the last few years. The Pennzoil Chevy team definitely is looking to break through with a victory. Last week at Iowa was frustrating, but we have to move on and keep it in the past. We keep shuffling around in the points standings, so it would be nice to start setting ourselves apart from that little group we’ve been in.”
MAX CHILTON (No. 8 Gallagher Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “I’m excited to finally get to race at the track I have heard so much about. I missed it last year in Indy Lights due to my works commitments with Nissan racing at Le Mans, but I have Dario (Franchitti, team driver coach) as my mentor and he just reminded me he qualified here on pole as a rookie, so the pressure is on.”
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series champion): “Toronto is a really fun place to go. To be at a racetrack downtown and on the water (Lake Ontario) is really an unbelievable setting for us as drivers. The city is growing so much and it’s a great market for us. It’s really another classic street course which allows passing zones for the cars. The fans in Toronto, and Canada in general, are very knowledgeable and you can see that passion come through on race weekends there.”
TONY KANAAN (No. 10 NTT Data Chevrolet): “Toronto is always a fun weekend for us. We get to see another fan base that has really embraced the Verizon IndyCar Series and loves the races we put on. The track is challenging with so many passing opportunities, but it gives the fans an exciting show. We’re coming off of a weekend in Iowa where the result didn’t reflect how good the No. 10 NTT Data Chevrolet was, so we’re due for a good result.”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 11 Team Hydroxycut-KVSH Racing Chevrolet): “Historically, Toronto has been a good place for me, including a win with the Hydroxycut-KVSH Racing team in 2014. Obviously it is a very important race for the team because our sponsor Hydroxycut’s headquarters is located just outside of the city. We haven’t been exactly where we want to be with the street course setup this year, but we have some interesting things to try with the car this weekend. We will see where we stack up and hopefully this will be a breakthrough weekend.”
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “The Verizon Chevy team has some really good momentum going right now. We’re in the championship hunt and, as we’ve seen before, anything can happen as the schedule shortens. We’ve worked hard to get to this point after starting in a bit of a hole. The results in Toronto have been good over the last couple of years. The circuit is challenging. There are several spots where you can find trouble. Track position will be really important. The whole team has been great over the last few races. We know how to win there, so I’m really looking forward to getting up there.”
TAKUMA SATO (No. 14 ABC Supply/AJ Foyt Racing Honda): “Toronto is one of the most unique street courses we race on and I enjoy the venue a lot. It has a great atmosphere as fans are very enthusiastic and there is a quite large Japanese community there, too. I also enjoy the great restaurants in downtown. But most importantly, I think we will be competitive so I look forward to it very much.”
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Rousseau Metals/RLL Honda): “Toronto is a special race for all of us. I think the Canadian fans always love and respect what we do and come out and support us in big numbers. Obviously it would always be great to win in Toronto, but doing it 30 years after Dad won would certainly be cool as well. I’m more just focused on winning, whatever that may take. I am sure it will be a hard-fought race and weekend, but our Rousseau team is ready to battle hard. It’s very important to have a good weekend at the Honda Indy Toronto. We really got unlucky and struggled with terrible vibrations in Iowa. We must bounce back and have a good weekend, points-wise, because we are definitely further back than we want to be or should be in points. I have high expectations.”
CONOR DALY (No. 18 Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality Honda): “Thankfully I got to do the race in Toronto last year and that is going to be a good starting point in terms of experience. Last year there was a lot of rain and a lot of different conditions, but in the end our race went pretty well. We started at the back and finished 12th and I was pretty happy with our pace. Obviously I was with a different team at a different time, but I want to use the experience that I got from last year and start from a strong point this year. The track itself is one of the most challenging tracks I ever came across last year. I really struggled with it until the race. Once I got to the race, I thought I was much more comfortable, so hopefully that’ll give us some confidence going into the first practice.”
LUCA FILIPPI (No. 19 IMPCO ComfortPro Honda): “I’m happy to be back. I love Indy car racing and I can’t afford to stay away from it. I love the feeling and the excitement you get when you go back racing and I’m looking forward to use it as an extra push for our race weekend. I have a great feeling about the Toronto street course. Last year I finished second and I want to confirm that strong result. Thanks to IMPCO Technologies and the ComfortPro team for supporting the No. 19 car for their home race, we will make them proud of this partnership.”
SPENCER PIGOT (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “I’m really excited to go back to Toronto, I’ve always enjoyed racing there. I won both Indy Lights races at Toronto last year, so it’s a track that’s been good to me. I’m really looking forward to driving it in an Indy car. Every time I go back to a track I’ve driven at before, it’s just that much more fun and exciting with Ed Carpenter Racing. I’m happy to be going back to Toronto and hopefully I’ll have a good result there this year like I have in the past.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 21 Preferred Freezer Services/ECR Chevrolet, 2015 Honda Indy Toronto winner): “I can’t wait to get back to Toronto. It’s such a wonderful place to race Indy cars and such a cool place to visit. I always enjoy the love we get from the fans, the atmosphere we get to race in and the great racetrack with all the history that it has. I think we will have a really strong package to come back with and will have two really good chances with Spencer (Pigot) and myself. It worked out really well for us last year getting the one-two finish for the team. Everyone involved would love nothing more than to repeat that, so hopefully we can make similar magic happen once again.”
SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet): “Toronto is such a vibrant city with a tremendous amount of diversity. I always enjoy my time there. At the track this year, pit road is on the other side of the track, so that will be something to get used to. Changes like that to a racetrack can have a larger effect than meets the eye, so we’ll just have to see how it goes once we get out there. The PPG Automotive Refinish Chevrolet team is still out front in the championship, which is a huge testament to how hard they have worked all year. We’ll continue to attack with a lot of racing left on the schedule. We’ve still got work to do.”
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 27 Dr Pepper Honda): “With dad (Michael Andretti) having seven wins in Toronto, I have some big shoes to fill on those streets. It is a great street circuit, though, and the organizers always do such a good job with the event. The fans in Toronto are passionate and educated, so we always feel welcome. I’m looking forward to being in the Dr Pepper colors this weekend and hope we can produce some results.”
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “I have always thoroughly enjoyed racing in Toronto. DHL also has a strong presence there, and it is always great to have our partners attending in such strong numbers – they offer so much support. We’ll be looking to return to victory lane as we did in 2012. We’d really like to get a tally in the ‘W’ column for this season.”
JACK HAWKSWORTH (No. 41 ABC Supply/AJ Foyt Racing Honda): “I love Toronto, it’s steeped in history, it’s a super-tricky circuit and it’s a great city. I also had some poles and won quite a few races here in Star Mazda and Indy Lights before finishing in the top six in my Indy car debut there, so it’s always been pretty kind to me. Hopefully this year will be the scene of another good memory for me in Canada.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chevrolet): “Navigating around the streets of Toronto in a Verizon IndyCar Series car requires a great deal of skill, but also some luck. It’s such a tight circuit by design, so sometimes you’re just looking to come out of the corners unscathed. But there are also two long straights, providing some opportunity for passing and a chance to gain some speed. We’ll all be getting used to the new pit lane location and, of course, we’ll see how the track surface has changed from last year. I’m looking forward to heading back to Toronto with the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing Team.”
ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 98 Castrol Edge/Curb Honda): “I love back-to-back weekends. We had a strong race in Iowa and we will be looking to carry that momentum forward straight into Toronto. This is the final street race of the year and I feel like we have something to prove on this type of track, so hopefully we can make an impression this weekend and continue to move up in the points.”
Graphics & Photos Courtesy of Indycar