Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing has qualified on pole position for the Honda Indy Toronto. The last man on track, Dixon was able to narrowly beat the provisional pole lap of Helio Castroneves in his last attempt.
The qualifying was dominated by Chevrolet-powered cars. Eight of the 12 cars advancing from the Round 1 were using Chevrolet engines and aero kits.
The biggest positive surprise of the Round 1 was the performance of Dale Coyne Racing. The team’s Conor Daly was the top Honda driver in third place of the Group 1 while Luca Filippi who makes a comeback at Toronto was fifth in the Group 1.
Meanwhile, the biggest Honda-powered team Andretti Autosport had a horrible qualifying with none of their four cars advancing from the Round 1.
The domination of Chevrolet continued in the Round 2. Five of the cars advancing into the Firestone Fast Six were Chevy-powered, with James Hinchcliffe of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports being the only Honda driver advancing.
The good qualifying performance of Dale Coyne Racing wasn’t quite enough to make the Firestone Fast Six; Conor Daly was seventh in the Round 2, missing the Fast Six by 0.11 seconds, and his Coyne teammate .
Other notable drivers eliminated after the Round 2 were last year’s Toronto winner Josef Newgarden in eighth place and Juan Pablo Montoya in ninth place, as the only Team Penske driver not making the Firestone Fast Six.
The Firestone Fast Six culminated with a close battle for the pole position. Helio Castroneves was leading the session when Scott Dixon started his last qualifying attempt. The last man on track, Dixon snatched his season-first Verizon P1 Award from Castroneves by mere 0.0352 seconds.
Castroneves was followed by two Penske teammates in third and fourth places. The Verizon IndyCar Series points leader Simon Pagenaud was third, 0.32 seconds from the polesitter Dixon, and Will Power was fourth, 0.50 seconds from Dixon.
The Fast Six was completed by Sebastien Bourdais and James Hinchcliffe. Bourdais was fifth, 0.51 seconds behind Dixon. The only Canadian in the Honda Indy Toronto, James Hinchcliffe was sixth, 1.65 seconds behind Dixon after going out only once in the Firestone Fast Six.