[Source: INDYCAR press release]
TORONTO (Saturday, July 19, 2014) – Nearly seven years had passed since Sebastien Bourdais claimed his last Indy car pole.
That streak, covering 54 starts for the four-time CART champion, ended July 19 as the driver of the No. 11 Hydroxycut KVSH Racing car earned the Verizon P1 Award for Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader.
Bourdais’ lap of 58.9479 seconds (107.179 mph) on the 1.7-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 P1 Award winner in the 13 Verizon IndyCar Series races, and he tied Michael Andretti for eighth all time with his 32nd pole. His next task is to secure his first Indy car victory since Nov. 11, 2007, at Mexico City.
“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. Bourdais’ lap time was quicker than the pole-winning times of Franchitti and Scott Dixon in last July’s doubleheader.
Helio Castroneves, the series championship 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 Team Penske teammate 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. The Verizon P1 Award will be awarded to the best overall lap time.
QUALIFYING FOR THE VERIZON P1 AWARD NOTES:
• This is Sebastien Bourdais’ first Verizon P1 Award of 2014 and the 32nd pole of his career. Bourdais’ last pole came at Assen in September of 2007 and he ties Michael Andretti for eighth all-time. Bourdais is the 10th different pole winner in 13 races in 2014. \
• It is the first pole for KVSH Racing since it won the pole at Las Vegas in 2011 with Tony Kanaan.
• Will Power qualified second, his fourth front-row start in 2014.
• Helio Castroneves qualified third, his seventh top-five start of 2014.
• Ryan Hunter-Reay qualified fourth, his fifth top-five start of the season and first since the Grand Prix of Indianapolis in May.
HONDA INDY TORONTO RACE #1 POST-QUALIFYING QUOTES:
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 11 Hydroxycut KVSH Racing Chevrolet): “The track was getting better. Most of everybody was waiting behind us and when they said, ‘Alright pit now, we’re going to put on the other set of tires and try it again,’ and we’re like, ‘OK are you sure about this?’ and it worked to perfection They made it happen for me and the Hydroxycut machine was really strong in qualifying today.” (About winning pole): “It’s a bit of casino race here. Anything can happen. 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.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet): “The PPG Chevy was strong, man. It was really strong. We qualified third and we’re kind of upset about it. That’s a good thing! It’s a great position to start the race. Unfortunately our tires at the end were a little worse than some of the others and that was the difference. I feel like we will be very good for the race.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 2 Hawk Team Penske Chevrolet): “I thought we were really good in the first session. Really good. We made some changes for the second one and I think we just went the wrong way. I could just never get the tires to hook up. We left the pits and the grip was low and it just never came in. I was patient with it, hoping they would come in but it never happened. But the Hawk Performance Chevy looks great, it’s fast and I think we can get to the front.”
MIKE CONWAY (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): “We improved a little today with the red Firestones. But we haven’t been able to get the car dialed in like we want. We don’t want to be back in the field like we are for the race. But we have to work to improve the Fuzzy’s Chevy for today’s race. We have the standing start today so I want to get a good start and pass some cars early. If there is some rain in the race today, I really don’t know what to expect, to be honest. I have not raced in the rain here. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.”