IndyCar race in Toronto rained out, drivers hail move to avoid 'carnage'
July 21, 2014, 12:00 am TWN
TORONTO -- IndyCar's weekend two-race series will run in one day after Saturday's race was called because of rain.
IndyCar has scheduled two, 65-lap races for Sunday. The first will have a rolling start at 10:30 a.m. local time and the second is set for a standing start at 4:15 p.m. The order for the second race will be set by points, as of Saturday.
IndyCar officials originally had decided to make Saturday's race a 90-minute or 65-lap race once it started. But with rain falling into the night, officials decided to call the race.
“Obviously, we all wanted to get the race in today, but this was the correct call,” series points leader Helio Castroneves said. “We really tried to start the race, but it was clear that we were going to wreck a lot of cars. The PPG Chevy is very fast so whenever we start the race we will be fine.”
Castroneves has the pole for the second race.
Will Power's car wrecked during warm-up laps. The pace car also spun before officials decided to pull the cars from the track and red flag the race.
Sebastien Bourdais won his first open-wheel pole since 2007 earlier in the day.
Bourdais' lap of 58.9479 seconds (107.179 mph; 172.488kph) on the 1.7-mile (2.7-kilometer), 11-turn temporary street circuit at Exhibition Place earned him his 32nd career pole. He won his first pole since Sept. 2, 2007, at Assen, Netherlands, driving for Champ Car.
The course was affected by standing water on the backstretch.
Tony Kanaan called the conditions “completely unsafe,” and Ryan Briscoe predicted “carnage” if the race went off during its scheduled green flag time.
The last IndyCar Series race to be postponed by rain was in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2011. That race ran its first 15 laps on Sunday, May 1 and concluded with 40 laps on May 2. The last race to be postponed in full was at St. Petersburg on March 28, 2010. The race was run on March 29, 2010.
Will Power joins Bourdais on the front row for Sunday's race. Castroneves, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Simon Pagenaud and Kanaan completed the top six.
Bourdais was second and third in Toronto last year, the start of six top-10 finishes over the final eight races for Dragon Racing. He has yet to make the podium in a disappointing first season driving for KVSH Racing.
“Nothing's achieved right now, but we'll take it and keep digging,” he said.
Bourdais won four consecutive Champ Car titles from 2004-07 and has 31 career victories. He is winless in 52 career IndyCar starts.
When he was handed his trophy for the runner-up finish last year in Toronto, the crystal was not properly attached to the base. He accepted it and prepared to raise it over his head, but it slipped to the ground, bounced once then shattered.
Bourdais is the 10th different pole winner in 13 races in 2014 and gave KVSH Racing its first pole since Kanaan at Las Vegas in 2011.