IndyCar returns to Toronto for the first time since 2019, when Simon Pagenaud took the last of his three wins that season. The Honda Indy Toronto race has been canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The layout is largely the same but the surface, with its patches and difficult concrete-to-asphalt transitions, should test the whole field – especially the half that has never competed on the circuit.
“It’s really difficult,” said Marcus Ericsson. “It’s well used, but I like it. It’s a challenge. We must all accept this challenge and work around it. I think the harder it is, the harder it is for the teams and the drivers to gain the upper hand.”
Jimmie Johnson and Helio Castroneves were among several drivers who spun during a 75-minute test on Friday. “The concern is great,” Johnson said. “I was surprised how different the surface is in real life. So many patches.
Alexander Rossi set the fastest time in the first practice. Rossi’s fastest lap around the street track along Toronto’s Lake Shore Boulevard and through the grounds of Exhibition Place was completed in 1 minute 0.6090 seconds. Simon Pagenaud was second in 1:00.6991 and Graham Rahal third in 1:00.7031. Devlin DeFrancesco of Toronto, in his rookie season, was 17th in 1:01.5252.
There is another practice on Saturday morning before the afternoon qualifications. The race is Sunday.
– The Associated Press, The Canadian Press