2011 Toronto Indy Wrapup

The streets of Toronto’s Exhibition Place have been the home to open-wheel racing in Canada since 1986. For the 25th time, IndyCar tore up the streets of downtown Toronto for Canada’s fastest street party. Twenty-six cars including Canadians Paul Tracy, Alex Tagliani and James Hinchcliffe made up the field for a race that was a complete demolition derby.

Lowdown Live Blog

2:47 PM – The engines are fired and the cars are on-track for the formation laps. Will Power starts on pole alongside Scott Dixon.
[Dan Aykroyd was  the grand marshal and gave the command to fire engines. He definitely had one of the best efforts of the day. He was also ticketed for speeding on his way to the race yesterday morning.]

2:49 PM – The Canadians start: Tagliani 9th, James Hinchcliffe 13th and Paul Tracy 24th.

2:53 PM – Green Flag! Power away clean. Dixon stays second but Conway passes Franchitti for 3rd.

2:56 PM – Caution on Lap 3. Kanaan and Briscoe get together in T3. Briscoe tried to squeeze inside TK and just clips his rear tire. TK’s day is done.

3:01 PM – Back to green flag racing on Lap 7. Franchitti gets by Conway for 3rd on the restart.

3:04 PM – Crash in T3 on Lap 8. Looks like Sato got into the back of Danica. Patrick is able to drive away w/ a flat tire. Sato stalled.

3:10 PM – Versus was kind enough to show us a replay of Danica exiting the pits past Sato. Danica flipped Sato off while he sat in his pit. Class act.
[She was also complaining on the radio. It looked to me like she stomped on the brakes in the middle of the road and a little early for T3. If it wasn’t a racing incident, I’d call it 60/40 Danica’s fault.]

3:13 PM – Cars are already making pit stops on Lap 16. Servia, Briscoe and Andretti have all stopped at earliest time possible to be in the window.

3:17 PM – The order on Lap 22 of 85: Power, Dixon, Franchitti, Conway, Rahal, Tagliani. Hinchcliffe is 10th. Tracy just pitted and is 22nd.

3:27 PM – Caution on Lap 31. Tagliani gets spun into the T3 wall by Helio. Leaders Power and Dixon hadn’t stopped and will be stuck back in traffic.

3:31 PM – The leaders pit under yellow. New order on Lap 33: Franchitti, Servia, Wilson, Hunter-Reay, Hinchcliffe. Tracy is 8th. Power is 12th.

3:38 PM – Back to green on Lap 37. Clean through the first lap. No change until T1 of Lap 38 when Briscoe gets by Hinchcliffe for 5th.

3:40 PM – Chaos breaks out on Lap 38. Tracy needs a wing change after getting into it w/ Hinchcliffe who has a flat. Jakes spins and stalls. Caution.
[PT and Hinch ran two-wide from Turn 3 through Turn 5 before they ran out of room. That is a racing deal because neither had the advantage and neither wanted to give up the position.]

3:48 PM – Back to green on Lap 44. Order is Dario, Servia, Wilson, Hunter-Reay, Briscoe. Hinchcliffe 16th, Tagliani (-1 L) 20th, Trace (-2 L) 21st.

3:49 PM – Wilson and Hunter-Reay get by Servia for 2nd and 3rd. Andretti up to 5th.

3:53 PM – Big wreck in Turn 3 on Lap 48. Tracy, Kimball, Meira and Bourdais all involved. PT is the only one stalled.

3:54 PM – Tracy ran into the back of a blocking Meira which collected Kimball and Bourdais. Expect folks to gamble on fuel now.
[Under Indy Car rules, the inside of the track is for a car attempting a pass. Meira ran on the inside which led to this melee.]

3:57 PM – Everyone comes in to stop under this caution. Franchitti out first. Followed by Wilson, Dixon, Power. Some cars didn’t stop…

3:58 PM – The order is Rahal, Viso, De Silvestro, Hunter-Reay, Beatriz, Franchitti, Wilson, Dixon, Power, Franchitti.
[The top six stayed out and tried an alternate strategy. Rahal and RHR were the only two to stretch their fuel the distance.]

4:01 PM – Back to green on Lap 53. Tagliani is down a lap but is forcing the issue with leader Rahal and gets his lap back.

4:03 PM – All sorts of action behind the leaders. Hunter-Reay by Simona for 3rd. Wilson and Power by Dario then Simona for 4th & 5th.

4:06 PM – Dario dumps Power in Turn 3 and a caution comes out on Lap 57. Power stalls. Dario was too far back to try that one.
[In Turn 3, Dario only had his front tire up along Power’s rear. Franchitti stayed there and the two collided.]

4:08 PM – Franchitti will be given a drive-through penalty under green for punting Power out of the way. I guess that evens the championship out.
[Or does it…]

4:14 PM – Restart with 24 laps to go. Close racing at the front that ends with Viso getting a flat tire.

4:18 PM – The penalty issued to Franchitti for hitting Power has been rescinded and now he’s up to 2nd behind teammate Rahal.
[Dario got by Viso thanks to the tire and Hunter-Reay who let him by expecting him to get the penalty. The official word from Race Control was that there was no penalty ever issued. When I questioned the official IndyCar account about why they tweeted that there was a penalty, they said they got their info from TV. That just goes to show what sort of a gong show this Indy Car race was.]

4:19 PM – Caution with 19 laps to go. Power into the wall after being punted.

4:27 PM – Back to green with 14 to go. Rahal leads from Franchitti, Hunter-Reay, Dixon & Wilson. Hinchcliffe is 8th. Tag is 14th and on the lead lap.
[This was the third attempt at a double-file restart because Dario couldn’t get alongside Rahal. He said that he didn’t want to get into the marbles in the final turn. Chip Ganassi went down to Rahal’s pit to tell the #38 team to give Dario some room.]

4:28 PM – Franchitti by Rahal for the lead. Dixon by Hunter-Reay for 3rd. Caution back out for a wreck in T3.
[Rahal didn’t put up much of a fight. Sure, he was saving fuel but that visit by Chip to the Rahal pit seems awful convenient.]

4:29 PM – Jakes gets spun by Danica. She collected Tagliani who went up on two wheels and hit the catch-fence.

4:37 PM – Back to green with 9 to go & immediately back to yellow as five cars pile up in T1: Wilson, Servia, Conway, Hinchcliffe & Kimball.

4:39 PM – Marco got into Servia which spun him into the back of Wilson. Hinchcliffe, Kimball, Conway & Hildebrand all got stacked up in the wreck.
[I can’t confirm this but I think Marco got a penalty but it was later rescinded when Michael Andretti complained. Also, Mario Andretti complained that double-file restarts were a joke. They’re making it work in NASCAR. So what’s the real joke here, Mario?]

4:44 PM – Back to green with 5 laps to go. Rahal looked underneath Dario but backed off. Dixon passed him in T3 before Hunter-Reay punted him.
[Again: Team orders?]

4:47 PM – With two to go, the order is Franchitti, Dixon, Hunter-Reay, Andretti and Meira.

4:49 PM – Checkered flag! Dario Franchitti wins the Honda Indy Toronto.

4:50 PM – Unofficial results: Franchitti, Dixon, Hunter-Reay, Andretti, Meira, Bourdais, Briscoe, Hildebrand, Viso and De Silvestro.

Driver Tweets

Will Power (@12WillPower) – @dariofranchitti hey princess thanks for that nice tap today–appreciate it

Dario Franchitti (@DarioFranchitti) – Hey @12WillPower watch the reply and then call me…

Graham Rahal (@GrahamRahal) – Well what can I say…we got hit by my friend @RyanHunterReay. Wasnt expecting that. Was tough. Old tires, no fuel. We had a top 3 today.

Marco Andretti (@Andretti26) – Had fun today for the most part.Sorry to @OriolServia @JustinWilson22 and whoever else I took in 1. Tried to back out but was over committed

J.R. Hildebrand (@JRHildebrand) – Gnarly race out there today, a lot of innocent victims.. Stoked for the @PantherRacing guys, they did an awesome job to help swing a top 10.

Justin Wilson (@JustinWilson22) – Tough day at the office. What a crash fest. Don’t know about you guys but I got board with all the yellow laps.

James Jakes (@JamesJakes) – Destruction Derby out there today ,got up to 14th and then got fired off !

Mike Conway (@MikeConwayIndy) – So Sorry to @RyanBriscoe6 for that complete brain fade on my part…..missed my braking point! tough day at the office was messy out there!

Ryan Briscoe (@RyanBriscoe6) – Crazy race today, bit too much of a demolition derby. Proud of my team, hanging in there to help bring home top 10 result.

Tony Kanaan (@TonyKanaan) – Did we all need to go back to driving school or something? — And race control is starting with their excuses. WHAT A JOKE .@IndyCarPR @IndyCarSeries — Next time I will pull over in to the parking lot to give him more room @AlUnserJr

Results

  1. #10 Dario Franchitti
  2. #9 Scott Dixon
  3. #28 Ryan Hunter-Reay
  4. #26 Marco Andretti
  5. #14 Vitor Meira
  6. #19 Sebastien Bourdais
  7. #6 Ryan Briscoe
  8. #4 J.R. Hildebrand
  9. #59 E.J. Viso
  10. #78 Simona de Silvestro
  11. #24 Ana Beatriz
  12. #2 Oriol Servia
  13. #38 Graham Rahal
  14. #06 James Hinchcliffe (-1 lap)
  15. #22 Justin Wilson (-2 laps)
  16. #8 Paul Tracy (-3 laps)
  17. #3 Helio Castroneves (-4 laps)
  18. #18 James Jakes (-4 laps)
  19. #7 Danica Patrick (-6 laps)
  20. #5 Takuma Sato (-6 laps)
  21. #83 Charlie Kimball (-8 laps, Contact)
  22. #27 Mike Conway (-9 laps, Contact)
  23. #77 Alex Tagliani (-14 laps, Contact)
  24. #12 Will Power (-19 laps, Contact)
  25. #34 Sebastian Saavedra (-42 laps, Contact)
  26. #82 Tony Kanaan (-83 laps, Contact)

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