Dario Franchitti Leads Opening Practice at Honda Indy Toronto

[media-credit name=”Johnathan Ferrey/Getty Images” align=”alignright” width=”304″][/media-credit]Defending race winner Dario Franchitti would lead the opening practice for the Honda Indy Toronto at Toronto’s Exhibition Grounds. He would run a total of 14 laps for the session, leading with a lap of 1:00.8972 and an average speed of 103.749.

His Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon would be second, four hundreths of a second off of Franchitti’s time.

Rookie Simon Pagenaud continued to shine with the third quickest lap, a tenth off of Franchitti. Tony Kanaan and Will Power would round out the top five.

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EJ Viso was sixth, followed by Ryan Briscoe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Helio Castroneves and Takumo Sato.

Rookie Josef Newgarden would run into problems as he would stall on the course during the opening minutes of practice. It was reported after practice that he suffered a fuel issue.

Viso would also have problems during practice as he got off the course in turn three while Graham Rahal spun in turn six. Rahal was 11th in practice.

During the practice, there’d also be an incident on pit lane involving the car of Justin Wilson and the pit crew for Sebastian Bourdais.

“I came down pit lane and the car refused to go into neutral,” Wilson says. “So I was stuck in first, I couldn’t get neutral, and on top of that, these carbon brakes don’t work when they’re cold, so was hard on the brakes and I couldn’t stop. At the last second, I tried to dive into the wall to take speed off, but those guys were there and had no idea I was coming and even diving to the wall I still hit them. I really hope they’re okay.”

Dr. Michael Olinger, INDYCAR Medical Director, released that Chuck Homan of Dragon Racing was treated and released from St. Michael’s Hospital after his leg was evaluated. Michael Cole of Dale Coyne Racing and David Martin of Dragon Racing were treated and released from infield care center. Raffi Aroyan was transported to St. Michaels for further evaluation of his ankle.

Wilson’s car sustained the damage following contact with the wall in turn eight.

“I turned the corner and saw that the track was blocked and that Tag (Alex Tagliani) was in the wall,” he adds. “I couldn’t stop, so rather than hit him head-on, I just turned back and hit the wall. It was just a horrible session. We’ll just have to regroup and hopefully get back out for the next session.”

Wilson would end practice with the slowest time while Tagliani was 13th with Bourdais 17th.

Hometown hero James Hinchcliffe would also suffer problems during practice as he would have an engine failure. As a result, the team was forced to change motors and he will now suffer a 10-grid spot penalty come qualifying on Saturday.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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