Ganassi resurgence continues in Toronto

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The old Scott Dixon is back. He has taken his 2nd straight win in the first race of the weekend at Toronto.

It was a two horse race at the very end between Dixon and Bourdais. After the final cycle of pit stops Dixon was ahead until a yellow on lap 65 brought Bourdais right on his tail. Bourdais got a huge jump on the restart, passing Dixon and holding the lead until lap 78 when Dixon completed the pass.

(About winning pass of Sebastien Bourdais): “We tried a couple of times; he was good on the brakes into (Turn) 3. Eventually he ran out of overtakes. I got past him on the straight. The car was fantastic. This is what we need. We need to get this momentum going.”

Dixon also gained 23 points on Helio Castroneves.

Bourdais fell to around 2 seconds back until a yellow on lap 82 gave the Frenchman a shot on getting Dixon on a restart with one to go. Dixon broke like a rocket and Bourdais had no chance.

Bourdais looked much like the Bourdais of his Champ Car days. He took the lead from polesitter Dario Franchitti on lap 21 and drove a near perfect race but his Firestone Reds did not hold up at the end. It marks Bourdais’ first podium since Mexico City in 2007 and the first podium finish for Dragon Racing.

“We didn’t have quite enough for Dixie,” said Bourdais. “After everything we went through, it feels like a win. I want to thank these guys for sticking with me. It’s been a rough ride so far, so hopefully we can turn it around.”

Dario Franchitti was originally scored in 3rd, but after a bizarre last lap incident with Will Power fighting for 3rd place, was subsequently given a 25 second time penalty, placing him in 13th. Power and Franchitti were heading into turn 3 when Power dove to the inside, tapping the wall, tapping Dario before sliding into the tire barrier. Power finished in 15th position.

Franchitti and Chip Ganassi Racing protested the ruling and after the race INDYCAR officials released this statement:

“After the race, INDYCAR officials met with Franchitti and Target Chip Ganassi Racing team members to further review the blocking penalty issued on the final lap of today’s Honda Indy Toronto. The team presented car data showing steering trace and braking points from the Lap 85 incident with the No. 12 car driven by Will Power. The group also viewed additional video.  Upon further review, INDYCAR has reinstated No. 10 Franchitti to his original third place finishing position.”

Marco Andretti finished in 4th place. Tony Kanaan slides into 5th place and Points leader Helio Castroneves in 6th place. Castroneves points lead is now 39 over Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Hunter-Reay suffered from a frequently stalling car during his pit stops and finished in the 18 position.

The anticipated standing start was aborted when Josef Newgarden suffered from gearbox trouble on the grid. The race went green per the rules on an aborted start with a flying start.

To make up for today’s aborted standing start, INDYCAR has announced that it will be implemented in tomorrow’s race.

“The fans deserve to see a standing start, so after consultation with the promoter, we have made the decision to implement a standing start for Sunday’s race,” said Brian Barnhart, senior vice president of operations, INDYCAR.

Ryan Briscoe injured his wrist in an accident with Sebastian Saavedra, Justin Wilson and Charlie Kimball.  He has been diagnosed with a broken wrist and will sit out the race. Firestone Indy Lights current points leader and Indianapolis 500 runner up Carlos Munoz will replace him for tomorrows race.

Tomorrow’s race coverage comes on at 2 pm EST on the NBC Sports Network. Dixon is your polesitter.

Finishing Order

  1. Scott Dixon
  2. Sebastien Bourdais
  3. Dario Franchitti
  4. Marco Andretti
  5. Tony Kanaan
  6. Helio Castroneves
  7. Mike Conway
  8. James Hinchcliffe
  9. Simon Pagenaud
  10. Simona de Silvestro
  11. Justin Wilson
  12. James Jakes
  13. Ed Carpenter
  14. E.J. Viso
  15. Will Power
  16. Sebastian Saavedra
  17. Alex Tagliani
  18. Ryan Hunter-Reay
  19. Tristan Vautier
  20. Graham Rahal
  21. Charlie Kimball
  22. Ryan Briscoe
  23. Josef Newgarden
  24. Takuma Sato

 

Top 10 in points after race 1 at Toronto

1Helio Castroneves384
2Ryan Hunter-Reay345
3Scott Dixon342
4Marco Andretti333
5Tony Kanaan301
6James Hinchcliffe296
7Simon Pagenaud291
8Dario Franchitti274
9Justin Wilson272
10Will Power260
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