Honda Indy Toronto - Is this where Dario Franchitti begins to lock up the IndyCar Series Championship?
Honda Indy Toronto - Round 10 of 18, "Tweet"-By-LiveBlog Entry
Will Power's love affair with the Toronto street course continued after he snared pole position for Sunday's Honda Indy Toronto.
The Australian, who has claimed pole positions in the last eight IndyCar road race events, checked-in with a 59.577-second best lap on the 2.82km Exhibition Place street course for his 21st career pole.
But while Power is the defending champion in Toronto, taking top spot on the grid was a new highlight for him.
"Man, we really had to work hard for that," Power said after securing the Firestone Fast Six Peak Pole Award. "I've never won a pole here in Toronto and I love this place. When you turn a fast lap here, you're really just exhausted. This is such a physical track. It's a real driver's track with all the different surfaces and all the bumps, you really need to wring its neck out there and that's what I love about it."
Power goes into today's race trailing rival and two-time defending series champion Dario Franchitti by 20 points on the 2011 IndyCar Series championship standings. New Zealander, Scott Dixon sits between Power and Franchitti in qualifying and will start alongside the Australian in the front-row while Franchitti starts from P3.
"It's great to be on pole here but this is a track where you can really pass a lot of cars and move forward from the back," Power said.
Track Map - Honda Indy Toronto temporary street course. Image Credit: jamesjakes.com
The race started on time with the following entries, initially "Tweets" from Twitter, then direct, live blogging entries during the course of the race. The race transpired as follows:
MoreFrontWing More Front Wing - Can't believe lap 1 was clean! Amazing.
Talked too soon!!! Briscoe and Kanaan make contact on LAP 3.
FollowAndretti Andretti Autosport - Full course caution. Kanaan with a bit of contact.
Meeshbeer Meeshbeer – RESTART - Green! Green! Green!!
MoreFrontWing More Front Wing - Awesome restart!
LAP 8 Danica and Taku get together … come to pits
LAP 27 – Franchitti pits.
LAP 30 – Tagliani and Castroneves get together in turn 3, spins Tags – Full Course Caution
Fieldof33 Paul Dalbey - Stop me if you've heard this before... Helio takes another driver out of the race and screws over his teammate.
SBPopOffValve PopOffValve.com - Helio NERFED Tags. Hmm. Unprecedented HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
After pitstops – Franchitti, Servia, Wilson, RHR, Hinchtown, Briscoe, Meira, Tracy, Andretti, Hildebrand, Jakes, then Power, Dixon, Conway, and Rahal.
GREEN, GREEN, GREEN double file RESTART LAP 36!
LAP 38 Tracy and Hinchcliff get together, damaged front wing on Tracy
Jakes has a problem, spins in turn 9 – Full Course Yellow LAP 39
RESTART LAP 43 - Franchitti, Servia, Wilson, RHR, Briscoe, Dixon, Andretti, Meira Conway, Power, Hildebrand.
LAP 44 cars dive into pitlane – Servia has a pick-up problem, gets passed by Wilson and RHR.
Andretti gets past Dixon and Briscoe to P5
LAP 46 sees Conway get around Meira for P7 then Briscoe for P6 followed by Power around Mreira for P7
LAP 47 Tracy clobbers Meira and takes him out of the race Full Course Yellow
LAP 48 everyone gets into the pits for tires and fuel … may be the last stop.
LAP 49 Graham Rahal leads the field due to an earlier pitstop – then Viso, de Silvestro, RHR, Beatriz, Franchitti, Wilson, Dixon, Power and Andretti round out the top 10.
RHR may be in the best position to go to the end without a pitstop for fuel.
RESTART LAP 52 side-by-side with lapped Tagliani gives Rahal all he can handle – passes Rahal to get his lap back.
Ryan Hunter-Reay gets past de Silvestro LAP 53 and now Power gets past several cars and runs in P6 ahead of Franchitti.
LAP 54 Power passes de Silvestro for P5 – Conway heads for the pits with damage.
Full Course Yellow – Will Power gets turned around by Dario Franchitti in turn 4 Power stalled.
Franchitti now in P5 behind Wilson on LAP 58 during the 5th full course caution.
RESTART LAP 61 side-by-side with Rahal, RHR, Viso, Wilson, Franchitti, Dixon, Servia, Andretti … Power back at P16
Viso locks up his tires and causes a flat when Wilson tries to pass, Dixon now past Wilson.
Graham will need a 44 lap tank full in order to maintain position and win ... or just finish the race.
Top 5 are Rahal, Hunter-Reay, Franchitti, Dixon and Wilson.
Franchitti passes RHR on lap 64
Will Power gets booted into the tire barrier by Tagliani on LAP 66 – possible 45 points down to Franchitti
Yellow helps Rahal on his load of fuel with 18 laps to go.
Top 5 shows Rahal, Franchitti, RHR, Dixon, and Wilson. Will Power out of the car unable to continue and will finish at P 24
LAP 68 Rahal chooses to start from the left on the side-by-side and the restart gets waived off – was this on purpose – for gas?
RESTART LAP 69 – waived off
RESTART LAP 70 – Rahal gets a leap and the GREEN Flag flies – 77 Tagliani goes up on it side as he gets together with James Jakes
Full Course Yellow - can you say destruction derby? Patrick hits Jakes which caused a chain reaction with Tagliani – lost in all of this is that Franchitti gets around Rahal in turn 3 for the lead
LAP 76 RESTART – Top 5 are Franchitti, Rahal, Dixon, RHR, and Wilson.
Three wide into turn 1, Wilson gets turned and collects several cars that include Servia, Hinchcliff and a couple of others. Rahal gets passed by Dixon but it was under Yellow and gets sent back. Andretti causes the chain reaction incident.
LAP 80 RESTART – Top 5 are Franchitti, Rahal, Dixon, RHR, and Andretti.
Rahal almost passes Franchitti through 1 and 2, gets spun by Dixon and Rahal gets booted back to P13.
Dixon charges on to Franchitti and if Dario wins it will be a 55 point lead from 20 before the race over Power going into Edmonton.
LAP 83 of 85 laps it Franchitti, Dixon and newlywed Ryan Hunter-Reay in 1-2-3!
Five car lengths separate Franchitti and Dixon who is closing. Both are pulling away from Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Checkered Flag, Dario Franchitti wins for the fourth time this season and the third time at the Toronto street course venue. 30 career wins gives him 9th all-time and passes Rick Mears who posted 29 wins in his career. Further, Franchitti is now one win shy of tying Paul Tracy and Sebastien Bourdais for eighth on the all-time wins list with 31.
Graham Rahal would have made it on fuel but he believes that if RHR did not hit him, he would have been on the podium. Maybe we should just call this a honeymoon gift.
Marco Andretti gained 16 positions in the race and moves up one position in the overall championship.
An exciting race to watch and listen to but a horrible race for the ChampCar proud fans of Will Power, Graham Rahal, and Oriol Servia. In the end, Sebastien Bourdais and EJ Viso were the only ChampCar transition drivers to make it into the top ten … and this, technically, is one of their tracks.
Dario Franchitti celebrates with his team in the winners podium at the Honda Indy Toronto - Before turning a lap, Franchitti issued a cautionary note about 26 cars squeezing through the narrow twists and turns of the 1.755-mile, 11-turn Exhibition Place street course in the Honda Indy Toronto. “Small mistakes will be punished, and in some cases, it could take out multiple cars,” the IZOD IndyCar Series championship points leader said. Image Credit: chipganassiracing.com
How they finished:
Pos - Driver - Team - Time/Gap
1. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 85 laps
2. Scott Dixon Ganassi + 0.7345s
3. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti + 6.0144s
4. Marco Andretti Andretti + 7.5671s
5. Vitor Meira Foyt + 9.0117s
6. Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne + 9.3114s
7. Ryan Briscoe Penske + 9.8735s
8. JR Hildebrand Panther + 14.1750s
9. EJ Viso KV + 14.7843s
10. Simona de Silvestro HVM + 15.7603s
11. Ana Beatriz Dreyer & Reinbold + 16.8992s
12. Oriol Servia Newman/Haas + 19.8736s
13. Graham Rahal Ganassi + 21.3123s
14. James Hinchcliffe Newman/Haas + 1 lap
15. Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold + 2 laps
16. Paul Tracy Dragon + 3 laps
17. Helio Castroneves Penske + 4 laps
18. James Jakes Dale Coyne + 4 laps
19. Danica Patrick Andretti + 6 laps
20. Takuma Sato KV + 6 laps
Charlie Kimball Ganassi 77 laps
Mike Conway Andretti 76 laps
Alex Tagliani Sam Schmidt 71 laps
Will Power Penske 66 laps
Sebastian Saavedra Conquest 43 laps
Tony Kanaan KV 2 laps
One final post-race Tweet came across the screen as this posting was being finalized ...
12WillPower Will Power -by toomuchracing - @dariofranchitti hey princess thanks for that nice tap today--appreciate it
... notes from The EDJE
(Article first published as Honda Indy Toronto - Round 10 of 18, "Tweet"-By-LiveBlog Entry on Technorati)