TORONTO – For a series that supposedly can race in the rain, standing water on the 11-turn, 1.75-mile temporary street course in Toronto ultimately canceled Saturday’s first race of the Honda Indy Toronto 2 in T.O. doubleheader creating a true Verizon IndyCar Series doubleheader on Sunday.
Two 65-lap or 80-minute races –whichever comes first – will be contested on Sunday with the first race starting at 10:35 a.m. and Race No. 2 set for 4:15 p.m. Eastern Time. Race 1 will be televised on CNBC and Race 2 will be on NBC Sports Network.
The postponement creates the first same-day doubleheader since June 28, 1981, at the 1.522-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway when Rick Mears swept the Kraco Twin 125s. A Verizon IndyCar Series twin bill of shortened race distances was contested at Texas Motor Speedway on June 11, 2011. Dario Franchitti and Power were the winners of the 114-lap Firestone Twin 275.
After a 2-hour, 30-minute delay from the scheduled start, IndyCar officials and the promoter group made the decision to wait for a more favorable weather forecast July 20.
It’s the first Verizon IndyCar Series race postponed because of inclement weather since Sao Paulo in 2011, when 15 laps were run. The remaining laps were completed the next day. The 2010 season opener in St. Petersburg, Fla., was postponed before getting the green flag to the next day. Races at Barber Motorsports Park, Houston and Iowa Speedway have been impacted by rain this season.
The starting lineup for the first race was set by qualifications Saturday morning with Sebastien Bourdais scoring his first pole since 2007. Will Power, who trailed Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves by nine points in the standings, will start on the outside of the front row despite the fact he was involved in a crash on a parade lap during Saturday’s never-started race.
Power’s car suffered left-front and left-rear suspension damage but was able to be repaired in just 23 minutes. If Saturday’s race had started, Power would have began the race at the back of the pack. Because the race was canceled, he gets to start on the outside of the front row.
“The race had not started and when the 12 car (Power) went away it was out of the race and didn’t look like it was coming back,” Walker said. “The start was called off so we had positioned it at the back of the grid. Now, it gets to start back where it qualified.
“People have to step beyond the rule book and look at the big picture. The race had never started, adverse conditions and people spinning off. We tried to get everybody back in the game. The race had not started but I understand they are all very competitive. Street races in general we take a hammering. They are always very physical and combative. Today was about the conditions. If we can get everybody out there with their wheels on and start the race we will do that for Michael Andretti just as much as we could for Will Power.”