Podium Finishes for Dixon, Rossi at Honda Indy Toronto
Scott Dixon challenged for the lead throughout the final third of the Honda Indy Toronto, but finished second at the end of 85 hard-fought laps, less than 14 hundredths of a second behind race winner Simon Pagenaud.
Podium Finishes for Dixon, Rossi at Honda Indy Toronto
Jul 14, 2019 - TORONTO, Ont., Canada
- Scott Dixon challenges for victory, finishes second for Honda
- Alexander Rossi closes on championship lead with third-place result
- Honda drivers claim eight of top-10 finishing positions
Scott Dixon challenged for the lead throughout the final third of Sunday's Honda Indy Toronto, but finished second at the end of 85 hard-fought laps, less than 14 hundredths of a second behind race winner Simon Pagenaud. Alexander Rossi completed the podium for Honda, and closed to within four points of the Drivers' Championship lead with his third-place finish.
Starting second, Dixon slotted in behind Pagenaud in the opening lap and – although an early full-course caution split the field in terms of pit stop strategies – once again found himself running second when the various strategies converged after the final round of pit stops. Dixon continued to hound Pagenaud during the final 25 laps as the leaders worked their way through lapped traffic, but was unable to complete a successful passing attempt.
Rossi also pulled clear of the rest of the 22-car starting field following his final pit stop. Running third, he occasionally closed on the lead pair in traffic, but settled for a third-place finish, just over four seconds behind Dixon, but a solid 14 seconds ahead of the fourth-finishing championship leader, Josef Newgarden. Rossi leaves Toronto having closed to within four points of Newgarden in the Drivers' Championship (434-430 points) after 11 of 17 races, with Dixon fourth at 348 points.
Honda drivers dominated the top-10 finishing order, with Dixon's Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Felix Rosenqvist, leading the rookie field with a fifth-place finish. Toronto native and hometown favorite James Hinchcliffe challenged Rosenqvist in the closing laps before finishing sixth. Another of 2019's impressive rookie class, Colton Herta, finished seventh, with Sebastien Bourdais eighth. Although caught out by contact from Will Power that resulted in the opening-lap caution, Graham Rahal rebounded to finish ninth, while Marco Andretti rounded out the top 10 for Honda.
The Honda Indy Toronto was the final temporary street circuit event on the 2019 NTT Indycar Series schedule. Next week, the series travels to Newton Iowa, near Des Moines, for the first short-oval race of the season. The Iowa 300 takes place Saturday night, July 20, at the high-banked, 0.894-mile Iowa Speedway.
Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda)
Started second, finished second:
"I had some heavy contact with the wall around Lap 12 or 15. For the rest of the race, the steering [wheel] was at a big angle. It really wasn't that bad in some corners, but in others [the car] was really loose on entry. By that point, we were just trying to maintain [second place]; but I felt like once we got to the final stint, the car was really good and we were able to close in on [race leader] Simon [Pagenaud]. I felt like we really just weren't able to get close enough to get a good run on Simon. But, the black [Firestone primary compound] tires performed really well today. The #9 PNC Bank Honda guys were super strong in the pits. I think, had we got past [Pagenaud], we would've been able to drive away."
Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport Honda)
Started fourth, finished third:
"I think we knew going into today that we didn't have a race-winning car, and it would take a little bit of luck to get [a victory]. The two in front of us [Simon Pagenaud and Scott Dixon] both drove great races, so to be able to finish in front of Josef [Newgarden] and get a trophy [for a third-place finish] is a good day. Huge hats off to the #27 NAPA Andretti Honda boys – great pit stops, good strategy and we did what we needed to do today."
Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Started 12th, fell to last after opening lap contact and spin; finished fifth:
“I think had we not had that issue at the start, getting turned around [following contact at Turn 5] and losing 10 or so seconds, we may have been fighting for the podium today with the PNC Bank car. We had to kind of work our way back to the front all day. It is what it is, though. It happened and all you can do is put your head down and start to gain back that time. It’s just been one of those years to this point. You just have to keep your head down and keep working hard. Congrats to [Alexander] Rossi and good job by Honda.”
Ted Klaus (president, Honda Performance Development)
on today's Honda Indy Toronto:
"For Honda Canada's signature event, it was gratifying to see that after an enormous blow to his life, Robert Wickens was able to get back behind the wheel of a car on a race track. I would like all Honda associates to be as inspired as we were, seeing that today. It's a small, but at the same time a very big example of how Honda technology can be of service to the world.
[Regarding today's race]:
"Scott Dixon is the current Indycar Series champion, and he certainly isn't going to go down without a fight, and we saw a great example of that today. He's putting it in another gear and chasing another championship. That's been a hallmark of his entire career. Alexander [Rossi] drove a very calculated race to finish on the podium and close the gap on his main competitor for the championship. He now is only four points behind. Once again, we took eight of the top-10 [finishing] positions. Congratulations to Felix [Rosenqvist] for an outstanding performance all weekend, and to James [Hinchcliffe] for a very strong showing in front of his hometown crowd."
IndyCar Series 2019
Round 11: Toronto Race
NTT Indycar Series Honda Indy Toronto
Circuit:Exhibition Place (1.786-mile temporary street circuit), Toronto, Ont., Canada
Weather:Sunny, warm, humid, 80 degrees F
|1||Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske)|
|2||Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing)|
|3||Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport)|
|4||Josef Newgarden (Team Penske)|
|5||Felix Rosenqvist (Chip Ganassi Racing)|
|6||James Hinchcliffe (Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports)|
|7||Colton Herta (Harding Steinbrenner Racing)|
|8||Sebastien Bourdais (Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan)|
|9||Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing)|
|10||Marco Andretti (Andretti Herta With Marco & Curb-Agajanian)|
|11||Santino Ferrucci (Dale Coyne Racing)|
|13||Zach Veach (Andretti Autosport)|
|16||Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport)|
|20||Marcus Ericsson (Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports)|
|22||Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing)|