TEAM PENSKE IS QUICK ON A WET FRIDAY IN TORONTO
TORONTO, ONT (June 12, 2015) – Team Penske’s Juan Pablo Montoya got an early jump on the competition by recording the fastest lap during the first practice session Friday for the Honda Indy Toronto.
Montoya, the current Verizon IndyCar Series points leader and the reigning Indy 500 winner, was clocked at 1:00.6343 in the No. 2 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet for his fastest lap around the 11-turn, 1.755-mile Exhibition Place street circuit.
All four Team Penske drivers recorded laps among the top seven Friday. INDYCAR canceled the second practice session after rain showers moved through the area.
“We went out, didn’t get in many laps because we had a problem with the brakes on the PPG Chevy, but the speed was there,” said Montoya, who owns two victories this season. “It’s encouraging, but with the rain it just makes it hard because it washes away any rubber we put down and tomorrow we have to start from zero.”
Team Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud had the second-fastest lap — 1:00.7922 — in the No. 22 Avaya Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet.
“I love racing in Toronto and it’s clear that the Avaya Chevy boys have brought another fast car to the track this weekend,” stated Pagenaud. “You would like to have as much track time as possible because this is such a demanding racetrack, so the rain was a bit of a bummer. It’s something we all have to deal with, though, and I’m ready to get back on the track tomorrow.”
Will Power recorded the sixth-fastest lap — 1:00.8656 in the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet — among the 23-car field.
“I felt like we had a pretty good Verizon Chevy, so we’re not too far out of the window,” said Power. “We’re not changing much. We’ll just go into tomorrow and see what we’ve got. I’m hoping it’s going to be dry. Otherwise we should have been running in the second session.”
Helio Castroneves had the seventh-best lap — 1:00.8788 in the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet.
“Toronto’s always a great town to race in,” stated Castroneves. “It’s one of the spots I recommend to a lot of people not only because it’s a great race but also because it’s a great town. The Hitachi Chevrolet seems to be pretty good, and it’s a very tight field as you can see from third to eighth or ninth near where I’m at. It’s like in the same tenth which is amazing. So it’s definitely going to be competitive.”
Montoya leads Power by 35 points in the standings after nine of 16 races this season. Castroneves is third and Pagenaud is 11th entering this weekend’s event.
After another practice session Saturday at 10:40 a.m. ET, qualifying is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. NBCSN’s live broadcast of Sunday’s race will start at 3 p.m. ET.