TORONTO – Togetherness. Conor Daly and Carlos Munoz will be starting the Honda Indy Toronto just a row apart as Daly will start outside row 9 and Munoz inside row 10.
Due to problems in yesterday’s afternoon practice which ended early for both, neither team was able to test the red tires yesterday. It was a use them or lose them tire situation. So the team decided to run two sets of new reds in the first round of qualifying but the balance wasn’t optimal and it was reflected in the times.
Munoz posted a time of 60.1650 seconds in group 1 for 10th while Daly posted 60.2713 seconds in group 2 for ninth. When the groups were combined, Daly lines up 18th and Munoz 19th. Both drivers acknowledge that the bumpy street course combined with the inclement weather predicted for tomorrow make the race wide open.
“I think we gained a good amount from the first set of reds to the next,” Daly said of his run in the No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet. “We’ve improved with every set of tires we put on which is good but we’re just not there yet. We understand that it is still taking some time for us. I think we can be happy with the gains we made and I think we’ll have a good car for the race. The key is consistency and being able to take advantage of other people’s mistakes. There’s a lot going on around here. The walls are very close. So taking advantage of other people’s mistakes and maybe some strategic play could work for us, there’s a lot about this race that’s interesting.”
Munoz said it was his worst qualifying session of the season on a road or street course.
“Really disappointing qualifying session,” Munoz said. “In practice 3 we were looking good [10th]. Yesterday we couldn’t try the red tires [electrical issues] and there was some balance change in the car when we ran them in qualifying today. Starting from the back tomorrow, hopefully we have crazy weather tomorrow to help us to go to the front but I’m really disappointed for the team because in practice 3 we were not looking bad.”
Simon Pagenaud won the pole with a time of 58.9124 seconds. Second through sixth were: Graham Rahal, Helio Castroneves, Will Power, Scott Dixon and James Hinchcliffe.
Tomorrow’s race will be broadcast live on CNBC starting at 3 p.m. ET. It will be rebroadcast Sunday night on NBC Sports Network at 7 p.m.