Dario Franchitti The Scot Wins Pole At Honda Indy Round 1

Dario ScotterDario Franchitt fresh off his first podium finish of the year, carried that momentum into Toronto with a pole-winning run for the first of two races at Exhibition Place.
The four-time IndyCar Series champion was flawless in three rounds of Friday qualifying to coast to the top starting spot at Toronto, 1.75-mile street track where Franchitti has three career victories. It’s his fifth pole at Toronto and third on the season.
But his Target Chip Ganassi Racing team had to hustle all afternoon to repair damage to his No. 10 Honda incurred during a crashed in morning practice.
”I made it difficult this morning – I made a mistake in turn five there, took the right side off the car,” he said. ”The guys had to work and repair the car. I was able to keep finding a little bit every lap. Felt really good about that.”
Franchitti heads into this weekend’s races – IndyCar will run both Saturday and Sunday – ranked a disappointing 11th in the IndyCar standings. He’s not won a race since last year’s Indianapolis 500, and his third-place finish Sunday at Pocono was his first podium of the year.
He’s not written off his season, though.
”I’ve never looked at it that way. Whether I was first, or at one point this year I was last in the championship, so never say never,” Franchitti said. ”Until it’s mathematically impossible, you just keep fighting every week. We’ve put ourselves in a bit of a hole, but we’ll see if we can dig our way out.”
Sebastien Bourdais was second in his first appearance in the Fast Six this year. His previous best qualifying effort was seventh, and this is his first front row start since joining Dragon Racing before the 2012 season.
The 2004 winner at Toronto, Bourdais has had a miserable season and has yet to finish a race higher than 11th. He said Dragon recently discovered a way to address the understeer on his car and it showed Friday.
”We were definitely starting to wonder if we could turn the boat around a little bit,” he said. ”Definitely feels like this weekend we did. Finally I can feel like I’m doing something behind the wheel rather than going along for the ride.
”When you’ve been deep in the hole, finally you seem to be able to see some light, it feels really good. Pretty excited for the boys. It’s been a lot of work, just like everybody else, but when you don’t have the results, it’s twice as hard.”
Will Power barely advanced out of the first two rounds of qualifying and wound up third for Saturday’s 85-lap race.
Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan was fourth and was followed by James Jakes, whose previous best start at Toronto was 23rd, was fifth and followed by last week’s winner Scott Dixon.
Toronto native James Hinchcliffe failed to advance out of the first round, and Andretti Autosport teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti didn’t make it out of the second round. E.J. Viso also failed to advance out of the first round, marking the first race through 11 events this year an Andretti driver didn’t make it to the Fast Six.
Both Hunter-Reay and Andretti were plagued by Takuma Sato bringing the second session to an early end by crashing into a tire barrier.
Sato, coincidentally, ran into Hunter-Reay on Sunday on pit road – ending both drivers’ race.
”It’s frustrating,” Hunter-Reay said. ”I’d like to thank Sato forIMG_6660 knocking us out of the session again.”
Hunter-Reay is also driving with an injured hand suffered in the Pocono accident.
”It’s a concern, for sure. We don’t have any power steering at all in these cars, and when you get into an issue where you touch a wall or get in to it with another car, the wheel will whip around, and a lot of guys are hurting their thumbs, tearing ligaments and stuff like that,” he said. ”Certainly not a fun situation and not fun driving with it here at Toronto.”
Saturday will mark the debut of standing starts for IndyCar, which has been met with mixed reaction from the drivers. Many of the veterans haven’t done a standing start in 15 or more years, while some of the younger drivers have more experience in other series. IndyCar will not use standing starts for Sunday’s race.
”It’s been since 1993 that I have done a standing start. Right now, I’ll say I’m not a big fan,” said Kanaan. ”IndyCar for me, it’s always been about rolling starts. We’re talking about tradition. Maybe tomorrow I’ll end up at the end of the race saying I love it.”
Franchitti’s last standing start was British Formula 3 in 1994, and once at the Gold Coast 600 in Australia when he wrecked with teammate Scott Dixon. Power was also involved in the accident that began when Jacques Villeneuve spun.
”Will was there, because we all crashed into each other the first corner,” Franchitti said. ”Jacques spun. Next thing I see Will’s car with no wheels on it parked across the track.
I stick the thing in reverse, hand-drive the car, proceed to reverse into the front bumper of him. I look in the mirror and see Dixon shaking his head. Hopefully tomorrow’s standing start goes a bit smoother than that.”

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Shake, rattle, and roll at Honda Indy!

The Honda Indy in Toronto, which is a great city by one of the five wonders of the world, “The Great Lakes”, was all action. It was shake, rattle, roll, spin, crash, after crash, at times mayhem on the street of Lakeshore Boulevard by the lake. The day was hot, and humid and if you were looking for entertainment value this offered up more then any Hollywood, Ultra 3D you could see in any UVX theater. Honda Indy and the Izod Indy series allows everyone to get up close and personal, and the Teams were only too happy to comply. The facilities in Toronto are impressive. In the end  this race  saw the safety crew really have to work, pit crews perform “Nip and Tucks”, Danica Patricks car got a bad nose job on her Go Daddy Car when the crew had to replace her nose fin with a Dr. Pepper Racing team fin. Target Chip Ganassi Racing finished one and two, Dario Franchitti, and Scot Dixon followed by my friend from American Spirit racing days with Merlins Ryan hunter-Reay finishing third for DHL/Circle K/Sun Drop Citrus Soda car for Andretti Autosports. The party and the action never stop on My Name is Khan.  The Canadian boys from Hollywood Dan Aykroyd and Timothy Hollywood Khan are back in the city and it’s sizzling! Now where them girls at!

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Honda Indy is fly like a G6!

Jimmy Vasser of KV Racing Technology-Lotus was focused on what was going around the track today at Honda Indy. Last time I saw Jimmy he was gracious enough to give one of my friend a lift from Monaco to London on his G6. Today cars were fly’n , under blue sky as drivers got used to the track which was created 25 years ago. The girls of Ortsbo.com for Outlook™, the seamless new plug in for Microsoft were all smiles. As this is up close and personal the short clips are of Ana Beatriz of Brazil getting her tires changed, Will Power leaving the pits, and cars just fly’n by just to get you into the party. It’s gonna get hot, the action is going to be sizzling, you could win a KISS Kruise to party like a rock star! let’s start the party on My Name is Khan with Jimmy Vasser’s KV Racing Technology-Lotus, Honda Indy and Far East Movement.

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A spin with Al Unser Jr. Honda Indy Toronto!

The trucks rolled into town, both NASCAR and Izod Indy series have descended on Toronto. This will be up close and personal look at the exciting street race. As a sponsor of Indy Team American Spirit we won at the Gold Coast coming in first and second with drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay and Jimmy Vasser. Ryan Hunter-Reay will be racing with Andretti Autosport and Jimmy Vasser is partner of KV Racing Technology-Lotus at Toronto’s Honda Indy. Today the track, hospitality, and pit lanes were being set up, while some took rides around the track with Al Unser Jr., the city is about to go into party overdrive by the lake. So get in the seat and strap yourself in for a up close and personal ride of speed with My Name is Khan where the party never stops.

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