IndyCar »

Toronto: Dixon uses extra lap to secure pole

Scott Dixon won a personal race against the clock to earn an extra chance to claim pole position for IndyCar's annual visit to the streets of Toronto.

Scott Dixon took advantage of a welcome bonus lap in qualifying to score the Verizon P1 Award for the Honda Indy Toronto.

The Kiwi's 59.9073secs effort in the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, on the final lap of the qualifying session, earned his first pole of 2016, snapping a tie for twelfth place on the all-time IndyCar list with Johnny Rutherford by moving onto a career mark of 24.

Dixon, who won both ends of the 2013 Toronto doubleheader to launch a push to the third of his four Verizon IndyCar Series titles, planned to run two laps at speed in today's Firestone Fast Six, the last of three rounds of knockout qualifying, but was able to cross the timing line a precious few seconds ahead of the chequered flag to earn another lap. With clear track ahead, the 35-year-old The reigning series champion sped to the top of the chart.

"Each lap kept getting better," Dixon reported, "We made the timeline [sic] by a second to get the extra lap. Then, we just kept getting negatives on the splits, gave up a little bit in turn eight; but obviously [it was] just enough to bump pole. We caught the timeline at the right point, that's it. Worked out nicely for a change."

Dixon's effort prevented Helio Castroneves from winning a second Toronto pole. Castroneves' best lap of 59.9425secs places him on the outside of Row 1 in the No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet.

"What am I going to say? I can't believe it," the Brazilian sighed, "What is it, [four] hundredths of a second? Congrats to them but the Shell Pennzoil Chevrolet car is really fast. Gosh! Come on, Dixon! Really? Really?!"

Simon Pagenaud, the 2016 championship leader who has advanced to the Firestone Fast Six at all seven road/street courses this year and won five poles, qualified third in the #22 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet, while team-mate Will Power, a two-time Toronto race winner, earned the fourth spot in the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.

Sebastien Bourdais, another two-time Toronto winner, equalled his best 2016 qualifying effort with fifth in the #11 Team Hydroxycut-KVSH Racing Chevy, with local hero James Hinchcliffe sixth in the #5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda. For Hinchcliffe, it's the best qualifying performance in seven Toronto starts.

"I'm really pleased with the result today," the native of nearby Oakville noted, "We got back into the Fast Six after two weeks of shotgunning the field. It's kind of nice to be back at the sharp end of the grid.

"The Arrow Electronics guys did a great job. It's such a tough track out here with the conditions, the surface changes, the bumps obviously, but they did what they had to do and gave me a car that could get up there. I'm proud of all of them and hopefully the best starting spot I've ever had here turns into the best finish I've ever had here."

Dale Coyne Racing drivers Conor Daly and Luca Filippi also impressed by qualifying seventh and eleventh respectively. For Daly, in the #18 Jonathan Byrd's Hospitality Honda, it was a career-best qualifying effort in his 17th race, while Filippi will make his season-best start after being out of the #19 IMPCO ComfortPro Honda for nearly two months, last racing at Barber Motorsports Park in April.

Iowa Corn 300 winner, and defending Toronto champ, Josef Newgarden qualified eighth, with Juan Pablo Montoya and Mikhail Aleshin rounding out the top ten.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Scott Dixon - Target Chip Ganassi Racing   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/JOE SKIBINSKI]
Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) on his way to victory at Watkins Glen   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) on his way to pole at Watkins Glen   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Scott Dixon leads the Indycar field   [pic credit: Indycar media/Bret Kelley]
Max Chilton, Chip Ganassi, [Credit: Max Chilton PR]
Scott Dixon - Chip Ganassi [credit: IndyCar Series]
Scott Dixon - Chip Ganassi [credit: IndyCar Series]
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 celebrates capturing the pole with the fastest lap Saturday, March 12, 2016 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. The four Penske Chevrolet`s were the fastest in qualifying and Chevrolet had the five fastest cars. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 captures the pole with the fastest lap Saturday, March 12, 2016 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. The four Penske Chevrolet`s were the fastest in qualifying and Chevrolet had the five fastest cars. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 captures the pole with the fastest lap Saturday, March 12, 2016 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. The four Penske Chevrolet`s were the fastest in qualifying and Chevrolet had the five fastest cars. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 captures the pole with the fastest lap Saturday, March 12, 2016 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. The four Penske Chevrolet`s were the fastest in qualifying and Chevrolet had the five fastest cars. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon sprays the champagne in Victory Circle following his win in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon is congratulated by Dario Franchitti after winning the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon with a victory kiss from his wife, Emma, following clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates his victory in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon wins the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship, his fourth series championship of his career. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, August 30, 2015, winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Chevrolet also wins its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Ernie Masche/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon (left), driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 30, 2015, after winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Joining him on the podium is Charlie Kimball, driver of the #83 Novolog Flexpen Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 who finished third. Chevrolet won its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.