Qualifying Report – Honda Indy Toronto
TORONTO, Canada July 7, 2012—Mike Conway qualified the ABC Supply Honda in the 13th slot Saturday afternoon for the Honda Indy Toronto on the 1.75-mile street circuit at Exhibition Place. However, because of 10-spot grid penalties incurred by sixth and ninth place qualifiers Alex Tagliani and James Hinchcliffe respectively, Conway will start 11th.
Dario Franchitti won the pole with a speed 106.4 mph. Starting second through fifth are: Will Power, Justin Wilson, Sebastian Bourdais and Scott Dixon.
Conway, who turned a lap speed of 105.1mph around the 11-turn circuit, barely missed advancing to the second round of qualifying as he was just 11 hundredths of a second behind Sebastian Bourdais.
“We didn’t quite get the ultimate lap I wanted,” a dejected Conway said after qualifying. “We could have gone much quicker than 59.9 and could have advanced. Disappointed that we didn’t—annoyed with myself really. We could have had time to work on the car between Q-1 and Q-2 and disappointed we didn’t do that but it is what it is. We have to work on what we can overnight and in the morning to get the ABC Supply car good for the race. We’ve got to finish and finish well.”
In the two practices yesterday, the team made significant gains as Conway was 16th in the first session and eighth in the second. In this morning’s session, he was ninth quickest--squeezing out his quickest lap time on tires he’d run the entire session.
In Conway’s two previous starts (he missed the race in 2010 when sidelined by injuries), he qualified in the Firestone Fast Six, starting sixth in 2009 and fourth in 2011 but failed to finish both events. However, the ABC Supply team’s worst finish is 11th and their best is fifth (2011) so Conway may be poised for his best race finish on this track where he has shined in qualifying.
There will be a 30-minute warm-up tomorrow morning giving the teams a final chance to fine tune their race setups. The race will be broadcast live on ABC with coverage starting at 12:30 p.m. ET.