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Jul 12, 2013 - 02:02 PM
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2013 Honda Indy Toronto Practice One From the Track
Posted by: BGerhart on Jul 12, 2013 - 02:01 PM
Feature Articles
2013 Honda Indy Toronto Practice One From the Track

By Brad Gerhart

The IZOD IndyCar Series hit the streets of Toronto to kick off the annual Honda Indy with relatively clear skies and a temperature of 72F, with a track temperature just under 100F (96F) when the green flag dropped on the initial practice session.

Canadian James Hinchcliffe had car trouble almost instantly as he took two laps posted a 1:31.1186 and parked his No.27 GoDaddy Chevrolet in the pits. His crew dismantled the entire left side pod and Hinchcliffe removed himself from the cockpit. For nearly 20 minutes Hinchcliffe sat in his pit box while his crew went to work on another side pod. The Oakville native returned to the track with an hour left in the session ran a few laps and pitted once again, 13th on the speed charts.


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With an hour left in the session Rahal Letterman Lannigan Racing's James Jakes led the session with a 1:00.9096 on his 10th lap of the session. His fast lap time would be bettered by Ryan Hunter-Reay when he topped the charts at 1:00.8079 with just over 25 minutes left in the session. Jakes stood near the top of the charts the majority of the session but fell to eighth in the final fury before the checkered flag waved to end practice.

Takuma Sato, Dario Franchitti, Will Power (brought the red half an hour into the session), and Sebastien Bourdais each locked up their brakes at turn three after the long Lakeshore straightaway. There was minimal damage (if any) to the front of their cars as there was barely any contact with the outside tire barrier.

Charlie Kimball's crew worked hard to change the brakes on the No.83 and got him back onto the track with just over a half hour left in the session, his best laps were only better than Sato and Ed Carpenter's up to that point, he finished the session near the middle of the pack in 15th.

The red flag came out with 15 minutes left in the session when Franchitti damaged his front right wing, along with the side pod by turn five. His Target Honda lost its power and he made his way out of the cockpit once the safety team arrived on the scene.

Once Franchitti’s car was removed from the track, a five minute dash to the finish broke out rookie Tristan Vautier bolted his way to the top with a 1:00.7833 and looked to earn the best time of the session until Hunter-Reay came back with a 1:00.6082 as time expired. Josef Newgarden and Ryan Briscoe went to second and third respectively.

Since the standing starts have really not been practiced at all since the beginning of the season, IndyCar mandated that all drivers each refresh their abilities with Saturday's new start sequence with a slotted spot right before pit entrance. Although one practice standing start really doesn't seem like anything at all.

No driver hit the under 60 mark in the first practice session and are just over a second off of Franchitti’s 2012 qualifying time of 59.3510. That could very well fall during the first qualifying session or by Saturday’s qualifying session for Sunday’s race.

Brad Gerhart

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