Race 1 at the Honda Indy Toronto proved to be a knife fight amongst some of the toughest street fighters in the IZOD IndyCar Series, and Simon Pagenaud wielded his No. 77 HP car through the melee to an eighth place finish.
After an aborted standing start on the 11-turn, 1.75-mile street circuit, Pagenaud began experiencing brake issues.
“We have a good car but we can’t extract anything out of it because we’re having so much trouble with the brakes,” Pagenaud said. “It’s frustrating because I feel like I can’t attack on the track right now like I typically do.”
Pagenaud skillfully avoided numerous on-track incidents to bring the No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Dallara/Honda/Firestone car to the checkered flag in ninth.
“The team is doing a great job, we just need to overcome this braking issue,” Pagenaud said. “We’ll take a look at it all again tonight and do everything in our power to come back stronger tomorrow.”
Tristan Vautier, driving the No. 55 VisitFlorida.com/Schmidt Peterson Motorsports car, started Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto from the 21st position and immediately began gaining ground on the track.
Unfortunately an incident early in the race with Graham Rahal lost Vautier valuable track time and caused him to fall two laps down.
“I think we could have had a good run today because the car was fast,” Vautier said. “I was making up several positions in the beginning and we had a great strategy. Unfortunately I had contact with another driver when we were running side by side after Turn 3 and he just didn’t give me enough room. I tried to back off but ended up getting driven right into the wall. It’s a shame that it happened because we ran great lap times after that but we were too far behind.”
The 23-year-old IZOD IndyCar Series rookie likes his chances in Race 2 at the Honda Indy Toronto, however.
“The good news is that our VisitFlorida.com car is strong and I’m hoping we can bring home a result tomorrow in Race 2 that shows that,” Vautier said.
Scott Dixon won Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto, which is his second IZOD IndyCar Series victory in a row. Sebastian Bourdais and Marco Andretti joined Dixon on the podium in second and third.
Race 2 kicks off Sunday, July 14 at 3:30 p.m. ET. Pagenaud will start 13th, and Vautier will roll off 17th. For all of the latest team updates, follow @SPMIndyCar on Twitter.