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Simon Pagenaud Captures Honda Indy Toronto Pole

Photo Credit: Shawn Gritzmacher



The Honda Indy Toronto is the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series' only stop outside of the United States. With 22 well-tuned open wheel race cars and drivers arriving to do battle on temporary street circuit surrounding the grounds of Exhibition Place, a 85-lap main event awaits on Sunday. Prior to the head-to-head action that serves as the centerpiece for a weekend's worth of motoring festivities, Saturday qualifying would settle the running order for the 2019 Honda Indy. Competing on a tight, challenging track, preferential starting spot is coveted to ensure the best chance of Sunday success.

Recording the fastest lap time during Friday practice sessions, this year's Indianapolis 500 champion Simon Pagenaud parlayed this pace in Saturday's qualifying for the Honda Indy Toronto. The #22 DXC Technology-sponsored race car from the Team Penske stable demonstrated superiority on the 11-turn, 2874-kilometer (1.786-mile) Canadian street course by posting a 58.4293-second lap time in the fast six qualifying session. Pagenaud's second pole position in the event in three years, the Team Penske extends a streak of three-straight years of taking the top spot. "It was a great day, really. Great weekend so far. I've had the most fun ever in Toronto. The car has just been amazing." said Simon Pagenaud after his time trial performance. 

The Frenchman is still chasing his first victory on the streets of Toronto having achieved a career-best finish of 2nd in last year's event. In the entire history of the Honda Indy, only one reigning Indianapolis 500 winning driver claimed victory on the street course in the same year (Bobby Rahal in the inaugural event in 1986).

Pagenaud's best lap was enough to deny five-time IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon of the pole. Just 0.1655 of a second slower than the #22 car, the #9 car in the hands of the New Zealand native has won three times at the event (two wins came in one weekend when IndyCar held a double race weekend at the track in 2013). Dixon's rookie teammate Felix Rosenqvist driving a #10 Chip Ganassi Racing machine posted a third-quickest time in qualifying following up on speed shown in Friday practice. Andretti Autosport's Alexander Rossi as well as Team Penske driver and 2015 Honda Indy winner Josef Newgarden round out the top-five.

Canadian driver James Hinchcliffe struggled to find a performance in qualifying that allowed his #5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports car to cross over to the top half of field. Hinchcliffe will start the 2019 Honda Indy Toronto in 14th place. The Oakville-born driver remains optimistic on his chances on Sunday in a post-qualifying interview saying, "We've had really good Sundays, really good car on race days so far this year, so I'm confident we can pick off some of these guys. Our Arrow guys have been great in the pits, fastest in the pits at Road America. We just need to do what we've been doing on Sundays, execute well, make smart decisions on the racetrack, call strategy well and I think we'll be fighting for a top five."

Coverage for the 2019 Honda Indy Toronto is scheduled to start at 3:00 PM on Sportsnet One in Canada and will air on NBCSN in the United States.




IndyCar Series: 2019 Honda Indy Toronto


Pos # Driver Car # Team Engine Time Qual Round


1 Simon Pagenaud 22 Team Penske Chevrolet 58.4293 3
2 Scott Dixon 9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 58.5948 3
3 Felix Rosenqvist 10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 58.6793 3
4 Alexander Rossi 27 Andretti Autosport Honda 58.9215 3
5 Josef Newgarden 2 Team Penske Chevrolet 59.3103 3
6 Ed Jones 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 59.5353 3
7 Marco Andretti 98 Andretti Herta with Marco & Curb Autosport Honda 58.7663 2
8 Sebastien Bourdais 18 Dale Coyne with Vasser-Sullivan Honda 58.7781 2
9 Spencer Pigot 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 58.8221 2
10 Takuma Sato 30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda 58.9110 2
11 Ryan Hunter-Reay 28 Andretti Autosport Honda 59.0444 2
12 Graham Rahal 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda 59.0985 2
13 Max Chilton 59 Carlin Chevrolet 59.4811 1
14 James Hinchcliffe 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 59.9293 1
15 Will Power 12 Team Penske Chevrolet 59.5508 1
16 Colton Herta 88 Harding Steinbrenner Racing Honda 59.0549 1
17 Santino Ferrucci 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda 59.9761 1
18 Zach Veach 26 Andretti Autosport Honda 59.2890 1
19 Matheus Leist 4 AJ Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet 1:00.1853 1
20 Marcus Ericsson 7 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 59.6299 1
21 Sage Karam 31 Carlin Chevrolet 1:01.1134 1
22 Tony Kannan 14 AJ Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet 59.7317 1

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