Celebrating Bastille Day, Frenchman Simon Pagenaud won for the first time on the Streets of Toronto after a dominating win for his third NTT IndyCar Series victory of the season.
“What a great day, what a great weekend really,” said Pagenaud. “Fantastic race car. After winning Indianapolis, it’s been a special year. Very proud to fly the French flag in a cousin country.”
Pagenaud led 80 of the race’s 85 laps. The only other leaders were Zach Veach and Takuma Sato who each led in the middle of pit cycles.
The race finished under yellow after Will Power, who was involved in a wreck on the first lap of the race, also slammed his car into the tire barriers on the final lap. Power would finish a disappointing 18th after a difficult day.
In order to go to victory lane, Pagenaud had to hold off a hard-charging Scott Dixon who battled a steering issue after contact with Alexander Rossi early in the race.
“Car was good,” Dixon said. “I made a mistake, pretty big mistake, probably around lap 12 or 15 where I hit the inside wall on 9, bent the suspension pretty bad. Actually thought I had a puncture. Luckily it wasn’t too bad. It was enough to get to the end, but not ideal.”
Rossi finished third followed by Josef Newgarden, who smacked the wall late in the race, and rookie Felix Rosenqvist rounding out the top-five drivers. Hometown favourite James Hinchcliffe wound up sixth while Colton Herta, Sebastien Bourdais, Graham Rahal and Marco Andretti completed the top-10.
Sage Karam, who was making his first non-oval track start since 2015, finished 21st after suffering from rear-end issues throughout much of the race. Finishing last was Takuma Sato after running in the top-five for the majority of the day. A late engine issue caused the No. 30 Honda to catch fire, ending the Japanese driver’s day.
Rossi’s third-place finish allowed him to close the gap on Newgarden in the championship picture, bringing him to only four points behind the Team Penske driver. Pagenaud has closed up on the top-two to a 39-point deficit.