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Simon Pagenaud claims Honda Indy Toronto pole and lap record

17 Juillet 2017

"If it's got four wheels and an engine, I'll give it a whirl", Hinchcliffe told The Canadian Press.

Pagenaud, the defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion, captured the pole position for Sunday's Honda Indy Toronto after finishing first in qualifying.

"You rarely see Dixon crash with someone", Power said. "Obviously, Helio (Castroneves) has been on a tear this year and I need some poles in order to catch up on that competition".

"Everyone is kind of on their tippy toes trying to make sure they don't make a mistake, it's kind of like racing on ice", said Power, who won the race past year.

"We kind of made a bit of a tactical error in Q1 starting on scrub blacks rather than sticker blacks", he admitted. He is now a disappointing 16th in points and has had several incidents this season resulting in crashed race cars, mostly recently last week at Iowa while running in the top 5.

In addition, the Xfinity Series will visit the Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course on August 12, where Hinchcliffe has raced twice in Indy Lights and five times in IndyCar.

Pagenaud's 58.9124 second lap with an average speed of 109.138mph bettered the previous lap record around the temporary 11-turn street circuit by just over eight-tenths, which was set by Will Power in 2016. "Being able to put a flawless lap together in Toronto is very unusual because it's a very tough track".

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The top three drivers were all from Team Penske with championship leader Scott Dixon of New Zealand, third in 1: 00.6253.

Replacing the Russian is Sebastian Saavedra, a veteran of the series who most recently ran for Juncos Racing at this year's Indianapolis 500.

Canadian James Hinchcliffe of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports finished third on his home track.

The rookie IndyCar driver crashed during the first round of qualifying Saturday and began experiencing concussion-like symptoms afterwards.

Castroneves ended a three-year win drought with a victory at last weekend's Iowa Corn 300. As we've said, this year has been a huge turnaround.

Others honorably mentioned by fellow drivers as being able to find a way past when there doesn't seem to be room were Newgarden, Graham Rahal and Alexander Rossi. "The auto really came alive on the blacks so big thanks to Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, all the guys - great stops - and all the fans in Toronto".

"We've had lots of luck when we've come here before, it's always just been bad luck", Hinchcliffe said.

Simon Pagenaud claims Honda Indy Toronto pole and lap record