Honda Racing–Franchitti Claims Race 1 Pole in Toronto

Continuing his strong form on the streets of Exhibition Place, where he has scored five previous poles and two victories, Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Dario Franchitti captured the pole Friday during IZOD IndyCar Series qualifying for the first of two Honda Indy Toronto races this weekend around the 1.755-mile street circuit in central Toronto.

As in Detroit last month, the most recent street-circuit event prior to Toronto, Franchitti rebounded from a crash in morning practice, which damaged the suspension of his Dallara chassis, to claim his sixth pole at Toronto and fourth in the last five years, all with Honda power.  Another Honda driver who starred in Detroit, James Jakes, qualified fifth for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing; while Franchitti’s teammate Scott Dixon, the winner last weekend at Pocono Raceway, also advanced to the final round of qualifying and will start Saturday’s race from sixth. 

Activities continue tomorrow with qualifying for Sunday’s race at 10:35 a.m. EDT.  Saturday’s 85-lap race, the 12th round in the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series, is the first of the double-header race weekend in Toronto. A second 85-lap contest, the 13th round in the championship, is set for Sunday.  Both races start at 3:30 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on the NBC Sports Network. 

Dario Franchitti (#10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Dallara) pole qualifier, his 3rd pole of the season and 32ndcareer IndyCar pole; Honda’s 4th pole of 2103:  “Luckily enough, the car feels equally good on both [the primary] blacks [tires] and [softer] reds [option tires].  I have to thank the boys for fixing it after my little incident this morning [when Franchitti brushed the barriers in practice].  We put ourselves in a pretty big hole at the start of the season, but you just keep fighting every week, looking for that first win of the season.”