Bourdais earns first pole since 2007

Sebastien Bourdais has claimed pole for this Race One at Toronto.

Bourdais earns first pole since 2007
Sébastien Bourdais celebrates
Sebastian Saavedra, KVSH Racing
Will Power, Penske Racing Chevrolet
Helio Castroneves, Penske Racing Chevrolet
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport Honda
Simon Pagenaud, Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports Honda
Tony Kanaan, Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
Takuma Sato, A.J. Foyt Enterprises Honda
Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

TORONTO – Nearly seven years had passed since Sebastien Bourdais claimed his last IndyCar pole.

That streak, covering 54 starts for the four-time CART champion, ended July 19 as the driver of the No. 11 KVSH Racing car earned the Verizon P1 Award for Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader.

Bourdais’ final lap of 58.9479 seconds (107.179 mph) on the 1.755-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit at Exhibition Place in the 10-minute Firestone Fast Six session supplanted Will Power (59.1025) for his first pole start since Assen on Sept. 2, 2007 in the Champ Car race.

Bourdais is the 10th different Verizon Pole Award winner in the 13 Verizon IndyCar Series races, and he tied Michael Andretti for eighth all time with his 32nd pole.

“The Hydroxycut machine was really strong in qualifying today,” he said.

Bourdais' next task is to secure his first Indy car victory since Nov. 11, 2007, at Mexico City. He won at Toronto in 2004 and was twice a podium finisher in 2013. 

“It’s a bit of casino race here. Anything can happen," said Bourdais, whose next win will be his 32nd and break a tie with Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy on the career list. "But we keep on displaying pace and showing up at the front, so hopefully at some point it’s going to break and we’re going to make it.”

Five different teams were represented in the Firestone Fast Six, and it was the first pole start for KVSH Racing since Las Vegas in 2011. Bourdais’ lap time was quicker than the pole-winning times of Franchitti and Scott Dixon in last July’s doubleheader.

Power, driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car, qualified on the front row for the fourth time this season.

"We have been knocking on the door the past few races. It is just what I have been saying all along. I think we are getting better," said Power, who won the St. Petersburg season opener and at Belle Isle. "Every weekend the team is definitely finding the stuff that we were missing to be extremely competitive everywhere. Today was one of those days. We are back in the Fast Six, so we will see what we can do from there."

Helio Castroneves, the series championship points front-runner, joins Ryan Hunter-Reay on Row 2 for the 85-lap race that features a standing start. Simon Pagenaud, a two-time winner this season on road/street circuits, will occupy Row 3 with Tony Kanaan.

"We qualified third and we’re kind of upset about it. That’s a good thing," said Castroneves, who takes a nine-point championship advantage over Power into the race. "It’s a great position to start the race."

Dixon, who swept the doubleheader in 2013, will start 12th in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car.

For Race 2 on July 20, all entries shall participate in one of two groups for 12 minutes each of track time (10 a.m. ET July 20). The Verizon P1 Award will be awarded to the best overall lap time.

IndyCar

shares
comments
Pagenaud quickest after second Toronto practice

Previous article

Pagenaud quickest after second Toronto practice

Next article

Honda Indy Toronto Race 1 qualifying results

Honda Indy Toronto Race 1 qualifying results
Load comments
IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch Prime

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch

The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Sep 11, 2021
IndyCar young guns are great, but the elders aren’t done yet Prime

IndyCar young guns are great, but the elders aren’t done yet

The ace 20-somethings in IndyCar have risen to become title contenders, but the best of the series veterans are digging deep and responding – and will continue to do so over the next couple of years, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Aug 20, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie Prime

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in CART Indy car for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular teammate Mauro Martini's passion for racing.

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review Prime

The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review

At the halfway point in the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels? David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Prime

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all for us. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, Helio explained his tactics to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Prime

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after sweeping around the outside of Alex Palou on the penultimate lap in a thrilling climax. In one race, he validated Michael Shank's and Jim Meyer's faith in him, and Helio himself discovered there's life after Penske after all.

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021