Qualifying Report: Honda Indy Toronto

TORONTO June 13, 2015—The ABC Supply team’s record in Toronto shows that they finish better than they start which should bode for a good result Sunday! Takuma Sato qualified eighth today to post the team’s best ever start on the 1.755-mile temporary circuit at Exhibition Place. The team’s best finish of third came in 2012 with Mike Conway.

Sato, who posted a lap of 59.9500 seconds (105.388mph) in the second round, missed advancing to the Firestone Fast Six by .0578 of a second! “I was satisfied with my lap but it’s just so close, the field is so tight,” said Sato. “We only needed five-hundredths of a second to make it to the Firestone Fast Six.  I was temporarily fifth until the very few last corners in the final seconds and then two guys overtook me. It is what it is and that’s racing. I think the ABC Supply boys did a great job to put everything together. Yesterday it was positive but this morning it was a little bit disconnected feeling but we came back strong. It’s a shame it wasn’t a little bit higher but P-8, I’ll take it. It’s a good place to start, and the weather looks good, so hopefully we have a sweet Sunday afternoon.”

Teammate Jack Hawksworth was frustrated as his attempt to post a quick time was cut short by a red flag brought out by Rodolfo Gonzalez’s contact with the wall seven minutes into the 10-minute Round 1 session. For Hawksworth, it wasn’t the first time that he found himself outside of the top 12 because of an untimely red flag caused by someone else.

“We had just put the red tires on and the red flag came out [half a lap later], and we couldn’t do a time,” said Hawksworth, who suffered similar circumstances in both the Grand Prix of Long Beach and the Detroit Grand Prix earlier this season. “It’s starting to sound like a broken record,” he continued, adding, “The car was as good as it’s been in qualifying all year so I’m disappointed. It would have been nice to have seen what we could have done.”

Hawksworth qualified the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda in 14th with a time of 1 minute, 1.4569 seconds (102.804mph).

Although Sato was the fastest Honda-powered driver for the third time this season, he didn’t make it into the Firestone Fast Six as he did at St. Petersburg and more recently at Detroit. Will Power topped the Chevrolet contingent with his time of 59.4280 seconds (106.314mph). Following Power across the line were: Simon Pagenaud, Juan Pablo Montoya, Scott Dixon, Sebastien Bourdais, and Luca Filippi.

The race will be broadcast live tomorrow starting at 3 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network.