Will Power Captures the Pole on the Streets of Toronto
Chevrolet Aero Kit with V6 Engine drivers claim top seven starting positions for Indy Toronto on Streets of Toronto at Exhibition Place
TORONTO, ONTARIO (June 13, 2015) – For the fifth time this season, Will Power, No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, will lead the field of the Verizon IndyCar Series to the green flag. It is the 41st career Verizon P1 award for the reigning Series’ champion and breaks a tie with Rick Mears for fifth on the all-time list of pole winners. Powergrabbed the number one starting position with a lap of 59.4280 seconds/106.314 mph.
Starting alongside Power will be teammate Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Avaya Chevrolet. Pagenaud secured his fifth front row starting spot this season with a lap of 59.It is the fourth time the Team Penske drivers have started on the front row this season and the third one-two start for the pair. It i6095 seconds/105.990 mph. It is the 10th time this year that the front row will consist of all Chevrolet Aero Kit with fully integrated V6 2.2 liter turbo charged direct injected engine.
Team Chevy drivers captured the top seven starting positions and eight of the top nine for Sunday’s Indy Toronto on the 1.755-mile temporary street course in Toronto’s Exhibition Place.
Points leader Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 2 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet, will start third with Scott Dixon, No. 9 Jurassic World Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, in the fourth starting position. Sebastien Bourdais will start fifth in the No. 11 Team Hydroxycut – KVSH Racing Chevrolet with Luca Filippi, No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet, in sixth.
Helio Castroneves, No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, will roll off seventh and Tony Kanaan, No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, will start ninth.
The 85-lap/149.175-mile race is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. ET with live television coverage provided by NBCSN. Fans can list on the IndyCar Radio Network, Sirius 212, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR 15 app.
POST QUALIFYING PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
An interview with: Firestone Fast Six at Indy Toronto
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA
THE MODERATOR: We’ll go ahead and get started with our Verizon IndyCar Series post-qualifying press conference. We’re joined by Sebastien Bourdais. Sebastien, Toronto was a very big win for you last year. Does that give you confidence coming into the race this year?
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: Obviously we knew we were going in the ballpark. For one reason or another, we just don’t seem to be as strong as we were last year.
Just been a difficult weekend so far. I can’t get a real feel for the car. The bumps are much harder than they were last year. I don’t know if it’s the added downforce that makes it that way or something. Particularly in Turn 1, it’s a big challenge. I just make mistakes one after the other.
When the car hits the ground and takes off, it’s pretty difficult to keep control. I didn’t do a really good job. It’s a shame. The guys did a good job. The car is there. It’s just difficult to be accurate and not make mistakes. At least we made the fast six. We put ourselves on the map to have a decent run tomorrow.
Conditions seem to be forecasted pretty complicated, so we’ll see. Hopefully it doesn’t get too bad and we can put on a good show and the fans don’t get drenched, we can all have fun. For sure, when this place gets wet, I wouldn’t call it fun. It’s kind of survival. We’ll see.
THE MODERATOR: We are also joined by Juan Pablo Montoya. Juan, speaking of confidence, you’re leading the points. How does that help you for the second half of the season?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: It’s OK. We’ve been doing a good job. Today, I made too many mistakes at the end. Thought I had a really good car, didn’t put good luck together when it counted. Still qualified third, so I’m happy with that.
THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Simon Pagenaud for Team Penske. Simon, you’ve been very strong in qualifying throughout this year, very much like your teammates. Why do you think that is?
SIMON PAGENAUD: The Penske car, I think (laughter). No, I mean, it’s been good. Obviously seeing each other in formation on the racetrack, driving details, also setup has been a big push.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: You should have put on my setup, you would have beaten me.
SIMON PAGENAUD: Well, I was going to.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: What happened?
SIMON PAGENAUD: I pushed too hard (laughter).
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I just screwed up. I’m OK, I admitted it. You sound like you were in my car, unpredictable, it bounces.
SIMON PAGENAUD: My car was great.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: Yours?
SIMON PAGENAUD: Yeah. Red and white (laughter).
THE MODERATOR: We’re also joined by Luca Filippi. Luca, we had you in yesterday. Josef, your teammate, was talking about some of the struggles your team has had the past few months. This strong start for tomorrow turns things around. How do you feel you’ve been able to contribute to that?
LUCA FILIPPI: Our guys have to work so much during the month of May. As the drivers, we didn’t deliver what we’re supposed to do. I think it’s now time to turn around the season. Today, I think we all did a good job. Also we had an issue in Group 1. The guys were so quick to fix the car, give me the opportunity to run again. Very pleased with that. Really thankful to them.
I think the performance has been good since the beginning of the season. First time I go to a racetrack that I race before (this weekend). You know what to expect, you know the lines, braking zones. Makes everything easier. I just hope to have more experience to go faster everywhere.
THE MODERATOR: Scott Dixon will be starting fourth tomorrow. Scott, you’re known for your strong second half to the season. Do you feel like you have the momentum coming off of the win in Texas?
SCOTT DIXON: Well, I don’t know. I think it obviously helps. For team morale, it’s a good thing. This weekend, it feels like I’ve been driving a dinosaur. It’s been a little bit rough out there. I just thought about that one (laughter).
It’s been a rough start. We had an electrical issue at the start of the weekend, had to come in and change batteries every two laps. We made wholesale changes even through qualifying. Each session, we’ve been changing a lot. It’s not been a smooth weekend for us. But I think the car has potential speed. We were up pretty good on the last lap, and I cooked it in a couple spots.
We’ll see how it goes. But Chevy is doing a fantastic job, dominance right now. It’s cool to be driving a Chevy right now.
THE MODERATOR: We’re joined by our pole sitter, Will Power. Will, you’re obviously very experienced here, had a lot of success. How important do you think starting from pole is in tomorrow’s race?
WILL POWER: It definitely keeps you stay out of trouble in the first couple of corners. It’s so mixed up, doesn’t matter where you start almost. Probably going to have rain. Didn’t expect to get pole. Thought I’d be fourth, fifth or sixth, around there.
Yeah, ran Montoya’s setup. I liked that a lot. It was very nice. I changed the setup drastically between every single session. I ended up with what I had. Just really happy for the team. Need to have a good day tomorrow. Had some rough races recently, so I want to really get it done.
THE MODERATOR: We’ll open it up for questions.
Q. Chevrolet has dominated the series, except for the two rain races. Will, are you afraid that maybe the series is going to say, “We have to level the playing field?”
WILL POWER: I don’t think it’s good having a split field, honestly. It’s great to be on the Chevrolet side. I don’t know how it’s going to be done, but the gap needs to be closed some.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: Honda has some boxes where they can change the car. They just haven’t decided to use them. I think it’s in their hands more than anything else.
In my opinion, I think it’s good for the series to have different cars. People come and see, that’s a Chevy, that’s a Honda, they look different.
Did we do a better job over the winter? Yeah, Chevy have did a better job over the winter. Honda, if they wanted to change something, they could. They can change a couple boxes a year, defined by the rules. They haven’t changed anything. I think it’s in their hands, not anything else.
Q. Juan and Will, I’m asking lighthearted, but there’s some seriousness here. Power and Castroneves have (nearly) the same number of poles now. Who is the better qualifier?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I think right now Will has done a better job. Helio has done a good job when things go his way. I think Will really understands the car, how to get the most out of it in one lap. He is seeing the benefit out of it right now. But I think both are just as good.
WILL POWER: I think last year Helio was definitely better than me in qualifying. I feel like qualifying has been easier this year. I don’t know why. Maybe that’s because half the field is missing with the Hondas, you know. It’s the truth. Obviously there’s a big discrepancy there.
But also having three very strong teammates has helped a lot, too. You have a lot of understanding of what setups work, what doesn’t, where you need to be on the track and so on.
Yeah, it’s hard to say.
Q. Will, I know you’re trying to catch Juan (in the championship). Scott is trying to catch you. As the man in the middle, how do you look at all that?
WILL POWER: I’m glad Scott’s only trying to catch me so he can finish second in the championship (laughter). It’s Will trying to catch Juan, basically. It is what it is. Go out there, do your thing. I mean, you can’t try to manipulate it either way.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I think it’s too early in the championship still. Especially when you got double points in the last race. It’s so open for anything.
WILL POWER: Bull.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: It is.
WILL POWER: Just kidding.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I think we’re going to three ovals, something like that, aren’t we? Four. I mean, I hope we can run as good as we ran last year in those ovals, take some points, see what happens.
Q. The bumps down into Turn 1, how difficult is it to set up the car in a main braking zone to deal with those bumps, then have to handle the rest of the car in the other 10 corners?
SCOTT DIXON: The ones in (Turn) 1, they’re so big. If I raised the car, wouldn’t matter. Still going to smash the bottom of the car. I don’t know. It obviously makes Turn 1, going in there, pretty exciting. I don’t think it really changes the rest of the track too much because you couldn’t adjust the car enough for how big that one bump is.
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: It’s good that there’s some challenges, too. Yes, you have to compromise the car a little bit around the racetrack because of that bump. But it’s good that we have challenges like this, for sure.
Q. Sebastien, what makes this track especially bad in the rain? Is it just the concrete patches? Can you avoid them?
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: The concrete here is not very textured. Like Detroit, for example, they left it pretty rough, a little groovy in some ways. Here, it’s very much like a polished concrete. You look at it in the mirror, if the sun is in the right angle, it shines. Shows you how slick it is. When you throw some water on it, it’s definitely quite exciting.
There’s a lot of lines, manholes, pretty beat up, mixes of patches and things. It’s very unpredictable. You go through corners and you kind of catch the car, lose the car, catch the car. It’s a lot of come and go.
Obviously, visibility can be pretty treacherous on the back straight. Yeah, obviously a lot of things to overcome. It would be a shame if it was wet tomorrow in the race because we all know how tough it will be to get the race in. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen. Sure, you can go around the patches, but not all of them. Some of them you have to go through.
Q. For anybody. The tire options are the primary or the red (alternate) tire. I don’t know if you’ve used two sets in qualifying or if you have an extra set for tomorrow. Would you want to run on two sets of reds if it doesn’t rain and one set of blacks, or would you prefer the primary tires?
LUCA FILIPPI: I have no idea because I raced here on the reds last year. I think this circuit likes red tires. If it’s dry, probably we will all try to get as much time as possible, as much laps as possible on the reds, I presume. This is why also in the fast six I tried not to do too many laps on the tire, use one set only, just in case it stays dry, to have the best chances from that point of view.
WILL POWER: It’s hard to say. Not a big a difference between the black and red here as it has been. We’ll see. I don’t know.
Q. INDYCAR announced today they’re not going to do the telemetry of the push-to-pass, so none of you guys know what the other guy has left. Do you like that? If so, why?
WILL POWER: I think it will make the racing better, for sure. Normally you get the message from the radio. You just kind of reply. Cancels it out. It’s a good idea.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: Same.