By: Spencer Neff
July 12, 2019 | 11:35 AM
Last year, Scott Dixon won for the third time in 2018 and at the Honda Indy Toronto to propel himself to a fifth championship.
This year, the Chip Ganassi Racing driver started the weekend by leading the first practice. In the the 45-minute session on the 11-turn, 1.786-mile temporary street course at Exhibition Place, Dixon posted a best lap of 1m01.0723 (105.278 mph).
Slotting in second, current points leader Josef Newgarden was fastest of the Chevrolet-Powered cars, 0.1415 seconds off of Dixon’s quickest time. In third, Dixon’s teammate and current rookie points leader Felix Rosenqvist was first among the rookie drivers.
Three weeks after a dominant win at Road America Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi was fourth-quickest and Simon Pagenaud made it two Penske cars in the Top Five.
Less than a second separated the first 14 drivers in the field, with Dixon and Newgarden being the only drivers to run a best lap above the 105 mph mark.
Between Dixon and 22nd–place Sage Karam, the gap was 2.9042 seconds. Karam, who was tabbed by Carlin Racing to run the No. 31 entry, will make his first IndyCar start outside the Indianapolis 500 since 2015.
In fact, this will be Karam’s first race on the Streets of Toronto since a 2013 Indy Lights race, where he finished sixth.
Turn 11 causing Frustrations early
It did not take long for one of the top contenders to find trouble. Just over 15 minutes into the first practice, three-time race winner Will Power spun between Turns 10 and 11. Although he did not make contact with the wall, Power was penalized five minutes of track time for causing a red flag.
Nearly 10 minutes later, one of his Penske teammates found the same issue. Two-time race winner Josef Newgarden spun on the front straightaway. While the session returned to green, Newgarden’s crew went to work as they repaired a bent right-rear toe link.
Soon after, the trouble spot claimed its third victim of the session. After getting loose in Turn 11, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Takuma Sato spun and was also docked five minutes of practice time for causing a red flag.
With the first practice complete, here is the schedule for the remaining on-track sessions for the NTT IndyCar Series. The schedule is courtesy of IndyCar and is subject to change.
At-track schedule (all times local):
Friday, July 12
3:15 – 4 p.m. – NTT IndyCar Series practice #2, NBC Sports Gold (live)
Saturday, July 13
10:20 – 11:05 a.m. – NTT IndyCar Series practice #3, NBC Sports Gold (live)
2 p.m. – Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award (three rounds of knockout qualifying), NBCSN (live), NBC Sports Gold (live).
Sunday, July 15
12:15 – 12:45 p.m. – NTT IndyCar Series warmup, NBC Sports Gold (live)
2:57 p.m. – Driver introductions
3:35 p.m. – Command to start engines
3:42 p.m. – Honda Indy Toronto (85 laps/151.81 miles), NBCSN/SportsNet 1 (Live)
Stick with Open-Wheels.com and our social media platforms for updated coverage throughout the weekend.
Header Image By Jesse Elliott/Open-Wheels