Toronto In Review: Looking to register his seventh podium finish in nine career races at Toronto, Danny Sullivan posted a lap time just 4/10ths of a second off the provisional pole time of Jacques Villeneuve in Friday's qualifying. Sullivan's...
Toronto In Review:
Looking to register his seventh podium finish in nine career races at Toronto, Danny Sullivan posted a lap time just 4/10ths of a second off the provisional pole time of Jacques Villeneuve in Friday's qualifying. Sullivan's time placed him ninth on the provisional grid while teammate Mauricio Gugelmin recorded a time just one tenth of a second behind Sullivan and finished the day in 11th position.
In Saturday morning's practice session, Sullivan shaved 7/10ths of a second off his previous best practice time as he jumped to fifth in the latter stages of the hour long session. He finished running with the seventh quickest time overall.
Unfortunately, the success Sullivan experienced in practice did not transfer into qualifying as he could not better his provisional time and dropped to 13th on the grid. Gugelmin improved on his time slightly but also fell back, starting the race just outside of Sullivan in 14th position.
On Sunday, Mauricio got off to a quick start in the race, passing his teammate on the first lap and settling into 12th. The PacWest pair held their respective positions until the first yellow flag of the day on lap 18. The yellow fell at the beginning of a fuel window for Sullivan who quickly ducked into the pits for full fuel and tires. Meanwhile, Gugelmin and his crew elected to stay out and try to extend their fuel window as long as possible.
By staying out, he climbed as high as second behind Michael Andretti. With the team looking to pit under a yellow flog, Gugelmin stayed on the track as long as possible until finally, when no yellow came, he was forced to make his first pit stop on lap 43 of the 98 lap race.
"The car wasn't great today so we tried to be creative and stay out as long as we could and maybe get lucky with a yellow," said Gugelmin. "That didn't happen...then the car had brake problems the last 30 laps of the race. From there we tried to hand on and get into the points, which we did, but overall it was a pretty disappointing day for us."
Gugelmin's stop under green dropped him to the middle of the 27-car field. He finished the race in 12th position, two laps down to Andretti and earned 1 PPG point.
Sullivan looked strong after his early stop, hovering around the top-ten and running lap times with the leaders. However, on lap 62, one lap prior to his second and final stop of the day, Sullivan's Reynard came to rest in turn four.
"We thought we still had two gallons of fuel left in the tank," said Sullivan. "But, as I was braking in the hairpin, I saw the red light go on and 'Boom' no more fuel. It just went dead."
Subsequent inspection of Sullivan's VISA car confirmed he still had fuel on board but a mechanical problem hindered the pick-up of his remaining two gallons. IndyCar's safety team towed Sullivan back to the pits.
By the time he returned to the track he was five laps down, though still running lap times similar to those at the front of the pack. Sullivan's bad luck continued, however, as his engine expired after completing 83 laps. He finished the day in 18th place.