Race Report: Honda Indy Toronto – Race 1
TORONTO July 13, 2013—Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto 2 in T.O. got off to a slow start today when the much-hyped standing start was aborted because a car stalled on the grid. INDYCAR Officials had stated earlier that if any problems arose, the race would be switched to a traditional rolling start.
Starting 12th in the ABC Supply Honda, Takuma Sato “got through the chaos in turns 1, 2 and 3” on lap four--the first green lap -- but he lost several positions by the time the dust settled. He was running 15th when the drivers began pitting around lap 24. Sato pitted on lap 30 for the alternate red tires and a turn of front wing which the team delivered in 7.3 seconds.
Unfortunately, Sato had made only a lap when he returned to the pits because the car was stuck in second gear. The ABC Supply crew investigated the cause and found that an exhaust header had broken. The heat from the broken header ultimately caused the gearbox to malfunction which is why the car was stuck in gear. There wasn’t enough time left in the race to fix the car and return to competition.
Sato was credited with 24th place. He is currently 11th in the IZOD IndyCar Series standings.
Last week’s race winner at Pocono Raceway, Scott Dixon won the 85-lap race after taking the lead from Sebastian Bourdais on lap 78; Bourdais held on for second. Rounding out the top five were Dario Franchitti, Marco Andretti and Tony Kanaan. Initially, Franchitti was assessed a 30-second time penalty relegating him to 13th for an incident on track involving Will Power. However, Franchitti’s team presented data which included his steering traces and braking data to INDYCAR officials who reversed their decision after reviewing the material and additional videos of the incident.
Officials have decided to have drivers try a standing start again tomorrow in Race 2 of the doubleheader. Sato will start 15th in that event based on this morning’s qualifying session. Scott Dixon won the pole for Sunday’s race which will be televised live starting at 3 p.m. on the NBC Sports Network.