TORONTO (Friday, July 12, 2013) - Dario Franchitti earned his fifth career pole start at Toronto and 32nd in Indy car competition by claiming the Verizon P1 Award for Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto 2 in T.O. on July 13.
"It feels good to get our third pole of the year," said Franchitti, who moved into a tie with Michael Andretti for sixth on the all-time Indy car list by recording a lap of 59.6756 seconds in the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda in the Firestone Fast Six. "I made it difficult this morning. I made a mistake in Turn 5, took the right side off the car. The guys had to work and repair the car."
Sebastien Bourdais, who has started from the pole three times at Toronto and won the 2004 CART race, secured his first front-row start in IZOD IndyCar Series competition in the No. 7 Dragon Racing car.
Combined, Franchitti and Bourdais have amassed 62 victories and 63 pole starts. Four of Franchitti's victories have come in Toronto.
Five different teams were represented in the Firestone Fast Six session. Will Power and Tony Kanaan will share Row 2, while James Jakes and Scott Dixon qualified on Row 3. However, Jakes will incur a 10-spot grid penalty for an unapproved engine change following the Pocono INDYCAR 400 Fueled by Sunoco on July 7.
Series championship points leader Helio Castroneves qualified eighth. Defending race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, who entered the event 23 points behind Castroneves, qualified seventh.
Race Director Beaux Barfield will not be in Toronto this weekend for personal reasons. INDYCAR Senior Vice President of Operations Brian Barnhart will serve as race director for the doubleheader IZOD IndyCar Series races July 13-14 at the Honda Indy Toronto.
Barfield will resume his duties in Race Control at the next IZOD IndyCar Series event, the Honda Indy 200 on Aug. 2-4 at Mid-Ohio.
Also today, IZOD IndyCar Series drivers practiced standing starts from a pit box at the end of pit lane during the morning session. INDYCAR officials monitored the mandatory launches as drivers got acclimated with the light sequence countdown.
Indy Lights Practice
Jack Hawksworth topped the time chart in both Firestone Indy Lights practice session for the Toronto 100 on the 1.7-mile, 11-turn street circuit with a best lap of 1 minute, 4.7627 seconds (97.556 mph) in the No. 77 Schmidt Peterson with Curb-Agajanian car.
Peter Dempsey was second-quickest (1:05.0500) in the No. 5 Belardi Auto Racing car and Juan Pablo Garcia (1:05.1741) was third in the No. 2 TMR-International-Euclid Chemical car. Points leader Carlos Munoz was seventh (1:05.6551) in the No. 26 Dialy-Ser car for Andretti Autosport.