Bourdais leads final Toronto practice, but Andretti cars make gains

Updated: 

TORONTO – The Honda Indy Toronto circuit features some minor track changes for its 30th anniversary weekend, but in leading the final Verizon IndyCar Series practice before this afternoon’s race, Sebastien Bourdais has proven he hasn’t missed a step in mastering the Canadian street circuit.

Bourdais, a two-time Toronto winner, has been quick all weekend in the No. 11 Hydroxycut-KVSH Racing Chevrolet and was fastest in this morning’s warmup at 1 minute, 1.2130 seconds (105.037 mph) around the 1.786-mile temporary street course. The Frenchman led three of the four practice sessions on the weekend, as he searches for his second win of 2016.

HONDA INDY TORONTO RESULTS CLICK HERE: Warmup practiceCombined practice resultsStarting lineup

Andretti Autosport has had its struggles this weekend, with none of its four cars starting in the top 14, but may have uncovered something worthwhile overnight. 2012 Toronto winner Ryan Hunter-Reay (No. 28 DHL Honda) finished the session second quick at 1:01.2616 (104.953 mph), one of three Andretti cars in the top 11 in the session.

“Threw the kitchen sink at it (overnight) and found some the appliances work, so we’ll see,” said Hunter-Reay, who is looking to make up for a 22nd-place finish at Iowa last week. “It’s going to be hard (starting) from 18th, it’s real hard to pass here, but hopefully that’ll make the difference. Hopefully the bit of grip that we found will allow me to push a bit harder and make some moves.”

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal (No. 15 Rousseau Metal Honda) was third (1:01.2763, 104.928 mph) and Josef Newgarden (No. 21 Preferred Freezer/ECR Chevrolet, 1:01.2966, 104.893 mph) capped a top four all within a tenth of a second at session’s end. Helio Castroneves (No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet), who narrowly missed out on the Verizon P1 Award in qualifying Saturday, was fifth quick at 1:01.3362 (103.884 mph).

The warmup was not kind to rookies, as both Chip Ganassi Racing’s Max Chilton (No. 8 Gallagher Services Chevrolet) and Alexander Rossi (No. 98 Castrol Edge/Curb Andretti Herta Autosport Honda) suffered minor issues in the 30-minute session. Conor Daly (Dale Coyne Racing) had much bigger problems, slapping the Turn 5 wall near the end of the session, causing noticeable damage to the No. 18 Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality Honda and bringing out a red flag.  

Rookies, however, were not the only ones suffering problems. Series points leader Simon Pagenaud brought out a red flag halfway through the session when the Team Penske driver nosed his No. 22 PPG Automotive Refinish Chevrolet lightly into the Turn 8 tire barrier. Pagenaud suffered negligible damage and finished the session 14th quick (1:01.7612, 104.104 mph)

The Honda Indy Toronto is set to go green this afternoon on the streets of Exhibition Place. Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon will lead the field to the green flag, with coverage on CNBC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET. A re-air of the 85-lap race – the 32nd Indy car event in Toronto – can be found on NBCSN at 5:30 p.m.

The final warmup session results are below:

Rank

Car

Driver Name

C/A/E/T

Time

Speed

Diff

Gap

Best Lap

Total Laps

1

11

Bourdais, Sebastien

D/C/C/F

01:01.2130

105.037

--.----

--.----

11

20

2

28

Hunter-Reay, Ryan

D/H/H/F

01:01.2616

104.953

0.0486

0.0486

9

16

3

15

Rahal, Graham

D/H/H/F

01:01.2763

104.928

0.0633

0.0147

19

21

4

21

Newgarden, Josef

D/C/C/F

01:01.2966

104.893

0.0836

0.0203

16

16

5

3

Castroneves, Helio

D/C/C/F

01:01.3362

104.826

0.1232

0.0396

13

22

6

14

Sato, Takuma

D/H/H/F

01:01.3580

104.788

0.1450

0.0218

19

21

7

7

Aleshin, Mikhail

D/H/H/F

01:01.4144

104.692

0.2014

0.0564

7

21

8

83

Kimball, Charlie

D/C/C/F

01:01.4914

104.561

0.2784

0.0770

9

21

9

10

Kanaan, Tony

D/C/C/F

01:01.5402

104.478

0.3272

0.0488

9

18

10

98

Rossi, Alexander (R)

D/H/H/F

01:01.5840

104.404

0.3710

0.0438

8

15

11

12

Power, Will

D/C/C/F

01:01.6274

104.330

0.4144

0.0434

12

22

12

26

Munoz, Carlos

D/H/H/F

01:01.6708

104.257

0.4578

0.0434

18

20

13

20

Pigot, Spencer (R)

D/C/C/F

01:01.7382

104.143

0.5252

0.0674

12

21

14

22

Pagenaud, Simon

D/C/C/F

01:01.7612

104.104

0.5482

0.0230

11

18

15

27

Andretti, Marco

D/H/H/F

01:01.8133

104.016

0.6003

0.0521

14

17

16

9

Dixon, Scott

D/C/C/F

01:01.8682

103.924

0.6552

0.0549

6

19

17

2

Montoya, Juan Pablo

D/C/C/F

01:02.0589

103.605

0.8459

0.1907

17

19

18

18

Daly, Conor (R)

D/H/H/F

01:02.1336

103.480

0.9206

0.0747

15

15

19

41

Hawksworth, Jack

D/H/H/F

01:02.1940

103.380

0.9810

0.0604

13

16

20

8

Chilton, Max (R)

D/C/C/F

01:02.5422

102.804

1.3292

0.3482

15

20

21

5

Hinchcliffe, James

D/H/H/F

01:02.6057

102.700

1.3927

0.0635

8

18

22

19

Filippi, Luca

D/H/H/F

01:02.9047

102.212

1.6917

0.2990

14

15

(R) Rookie (C)hassis: D=Dallara | (A)erokit: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (E)ngine: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (T)ire: F=Firestone

Total Laps: 411

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