Last year at the Honda Indy Toronto, the Team Penske cars were the class of the field. This year’s running of the race appears to be the same way as far as the first day of practice goes.
Helio Castroneves, the Iowa Speedway winner, was quickest in the first practice of the day while his Team Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud led the way in the second session of the day. Will Power, who won the race last year, placed second in the day’s final practice.
Castroneves is looking for his first win in Toronto. The Brazilian driver has himself in good position to do so after winning his first race in more than three years just one week ago.
Meanwhile, Power is looking to break back onto the top step of the podium for the first time on a street course since this race last year. Power says maintaining the tires could be key for having success in the race.
“We got to try the red (Firestone alternate) tires, which actually aren’t that different from the blacks (Firestone primary tires) speed-wise, only a quarter of a second, maybe, three-tenths,” he said. “It’s a tough track to get the balance right. The grip levels are so different all the way around. You’ve got some bumpy areas with no grip, and bumpy areas with grip and them completely smooth areas. It’s something else. Very tough to get it all right.”
Josef Newgarden, who won in Toronto in 2015 while driving for Ed Carpenter Racing, was seventh on the combined speed charts of the day.