Reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Simon Pagenaud in the No.1 DXC Technology Team Penske Chevrolet secured his first Verizon P1 Award of the season for Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto.
The Frenchman set a fastest time of 00:58.9124s and speaking following the session he commented by saying:
It was a really good lap, one of the best I’ve ever put together. Certainly, there is not much more in it, but the whole qualifying I worked on details and driving. My teammates, they are tremendous. It’s such a good atmosphere when we work together. Each practice we talked about how we manage the corners and we keep improving each other. I feel like I really extracted the best out of my car, the best out of my setup today. It’s obviously the most satisfying thing and that is what I’m always seeking for.
Pagenaud who has now closed to within 30 points of series leader Scott Dixon went on to say:
It’s been a great weekend so far. “The car is really, really nice to drive. The most satisfying thing is to feel like as an athlete that you can extract the best out of yourself and be one with the car. That’s what I’ve always dreamt about and today I feel that way. Usually when I start in the front, I feel like things can go well, but you never know here. “It’s such an exciting race, always a twist here in the strategy, so anything can happen. But cross fingers that it goes our way.
Helio Castroneves in the No.3 Hitachi Chevrolet who won last time out in Iowa will start the race from third place and crucially for the Brazilian, he starts the Honda Indy Toronto ahead of series points leader Scott Dixon who starts the race from fifth place.
Speaking following qualifying, Castroneves commented by saying:
It was pretty good. The Hitachi Chevy was running really, really good. Obviously my teammates, we’re all working together, pushing each other, and in my group, the car was running really smooth, picking up a little bit of understeer with the blacks (Firestone primary tires), so I was trying to make some adjustments. That’s the fun part about it, you start making some adjustments and try to rush into it. But it worked pretty well and we saved the best for last. But definitely Simon (Pagenaud) put up a phenomenal lap out there. I mean, I wish I would have started with brand new (tires) instead of stopping and coming back in, so it would have given us a little bit more of a possibility to keep pushing every lap.
Will Power in the No.12 Verizon Chevrolet who won here last season will start this year’s race from fourth place on the grid and speaking following the session the Australian commented by saying:
Obviously, the cars are really good. My qualifying on the blacks (Firestone primary tires) was really fast. Definitely the car felt good, a bit on the reds (Firestone alternate tires). Didn’t get a good read on that when it went red there. I only had one lap and it had a lot of push, and I thought, ‘Well, maybe the fronts weren’t in,’ and then didn’t have time to make a change for the Firestone Fast Six. Just a big imbalance, and got as much as I could out of it, as it was, so starting fourth is pretty good around here. Try to keep out of the mess.
Josef Newgarden in the No.2 DevilBiss Chevrolet will start the race from seventh place having just missed out on a place in the Firestone Fast Six and speaking following the session, the Tennessee native commented by saying:
We just missed the Firestone Fast Six by like a tenth of a second or something. I didn’t get it done. The margins in this series are razor thin and sometimes you come up on the short end. The DeVilbiss Chevrolet guys have worked hard and the car is really solid. It’s not like all is lost or anything. We’ll start seventh and go to work from there.