Rain postpones race 1 at Toronto to Sunday
Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Persistent rain forced IndyCar Series officials to postpone Saturday's race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto weekend doubleheader until the following day.
Both IndyCar events on the streets of Toronto this weekend are now scheduled for Sunday, with race 1 slated for 10:30 a.m. ET and race 2 set to begin at 4:15 p.m. Race 2 had originally been scheduled to start at 3:55 p.m.
The starting order for Race 2 has been set by entrant points. Helio Castroneves, the current championship points leader, will start on the pole for that event.
Following a 2-hour, 30-minute delay from the scheduled start for race 1, IndyCar officials and race promoters made the decision to wait for more favorable weather conditions on Sunday.
Race 1 will now feature a two-wide rolling start, and race 2 will include the standing start. Each event has been trimmed from 85 laps to 65.
With race 1 scheduled to start just before 4 p.m. ET, the 23-car field was running pace laps around this soaked 1.75-mile, 11-turn temporary street course at Toronto's Exhibition Place, but just before the attempted standing start, officials displayed the red flag and ordered the field back to pit lane when the rain had intensified here.
Around 40 minutes later, IndyCar made another attempt to start the race, but bad weather conditions were to blame for several incidents that occurred on the track. Ryan Briscoe first spun out and then the pace car, driven by two- time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk, hit a wet spot and went sliding around on course. Will Power, who had qualified second and trailed Castroneves by nine points entering race 1, spun and made contact with the barrier. Power sustained damage to his left-front and left-rear suspension.
"I just whipped it and had no chance," Power said. "My bad. Obviously at the front, it's a lot easier to see because you don't have the spray. But I'm sure, like in Houston [rain during race 1] where I started 18th, you can't see a thing, but as it spreads out, it gets better."
IndyCar stopped the race for the second and final time due to continued precipitation and standing water in certain areas around the track, particularly the back straight. During the delay, Power's No. 12 Team Penske team made repairs to the car and returned him to the field.
"My guys did a phenomenal job," he said. "They got it fixed in time, and it's unbelievable to be back sitting in pit lane."
Power and Briscoe will have to start from the rear of the field in race 1. Power's teammate, Juan Pablo Montoya, will have to start from the back as well after his team had to correct an electrical issue with his car.
Earlier in the day, Sebastien Bourdais won the pole for race 1 after making a lap in 58.9479 seconds (107.179 mph) during the third and final qualifying round (the "Fast Six"). Bourdais will start up front in an open-wheel race for the first time in seven years. His most recent pole came on Sept. 2, 2007 in the Champ Car event in Assen, Netherlands. He won four straight Champ Car titles from 2004-07. Bourdais is driving the No. 11 car for KVSH Racing this season.
With Power dropping to the back of the field, Castroneves will now start second in race 1.
"Obviously, we all wanted to get the race in [Saturday], but this was the correct call," Castroneves said. "We really tried to start the race, but it was clear that we were going to wreck a lot of cars."
It's the first time an IndyCar race has been postponed due to inclement weather since April 2011 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Fifteen laps were run before that event was called. The remaining laps were completed the next day. The 2010 season-opener in St. Petersburg, Florida was postponed one day because of rain.
This year, races at Barber Motorsports Park, Houston and Iowa Speedway have been impacted by poor weather conditions.
The postponement creates the first same-day doubleheader since June 28, 1981 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Rick Mears won both races, which were CART sanctioned.
07/19 22:11:49 ET