IndyCar: Honda Indy Toronto Practice Report

Team Penske's Josef Newgarden during practice for the 2019 Honda Indy Toronto. Image sourced from Emotive Image.

Friday at the Honda Indy Toronto saw the NTT IndyCar Series host two 45 minute practice sessions. 

The first session of the weekend saw Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon lead the way with a time of 1:01:0723. 

In the afternoon Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud set the fastest lap of the day with a time of 59.0708.

This weekend’s race could provide the perfect opportunity the Indy 500 champion to return to winning ways. 

Since his back-to-back wins at the Brickyard year’s in May, Pagenaud has failed to finish in the top five. In that time, the Frenchman best finishes have been a pair of sixth places at Detroit and Texas respectively. 

However, the 2016 IndyCar Champion is feeling better about things as the series heads into a stretch of three-consecutive races: 

“I’m really happy with the DXC Technology Chevy,” said Pagenaud. “The car’s really good, [I] just need to put the lap together.” 

Rosenqvist Revisits the Past

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist finished the day second overall on the timing charts with a lap of 59.3111. 

For Rosenqvist, this weekend marks a return to a track where he has had considerable success in lower formula. 

In 2016, the Swedish driver won both Indy Lights races at Toronto, which he says has boosted his confidence heading into this year’s event:

“It felt like a really good prep,” said Rosenqvist, referring to his success in Indy Lights. 

Rounding out the top three in practice was Sebastian Bourdais, who set a time of 59.9866 in the afternoon session. 

The Dale Coyne Racing driver is no stranger to the Honda Indy Toronto, having won the race on two previous occasions. 

Trouble at Turn 11

The track did provide its fair share of difficulties to the drivers, with Turn 11 proving to be a challenge in both sessions. 

In the morning a number of drivers spun on the exit of the turn, including Penske team-mates Josef Newgarden and Will Power. 

In the afternoon, Andretti Autosports’ Alexander Rossi narrowly avoided hitting the wall, though the American driver says its simply a result of pushing the car a bit too hard:

“I think you saw a few guys trying too hard,” said Rossi on those who had difficulty in turn 11.

Action at the Honda Indy Toronto resumes on Saturday with Practice #3 in the morning, followed by knockout qualifying in the afternoon.