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Toronto 2007: Power-boat P1.


Will Power ultimately cruised to victory in the seventh round of the Champ Car World Series, but not before everyone had endured a rough crossing in the Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto.

With the morning's Champ Car Atlantic race having been interrupted by a red flag due to the amount of water on track after a torrential downpour, things did not bode well for the main event of the weekend - or the forecast mid-30s temperatures - when leaden skies lay dormant over the Champ Car grid.

For the second round in a row, the field faced the likelihood of mixed conditions, so it was ironic that the greatest damage was done on the opening lap, when the track was largely dry and visibility the best it would be all race. It was also symptomatic of the event's fortune that its central character, local hero Paul Tracy, should be among those taken out of contention early on, the Toronto native the victim of some more bad luck.

While Forsythe team-mate Oriol Servia made the best getaway to vault past front row men Sebastien Bourdais and Justin Wilson, Tracy remained embedded in the midfield - and was therefore ideally placed to collect an bodywork going astray as the field negotiated the tight confines of the temporary Exhibition Place circuit. True to form, at least one car ran into trouble, with Simon Pagenaud losing his nosewing after minor contact with Alex Tagliani. Tracy, however, was oblivious to the fact that the offending item had lodged itself under his own wing and, after understeering wildly in a couple of subsequent turns, were eventually powerless to prevent the ~3 car from ploughing into the wall at turn seven.

Unfortunately for those behind the Canadian, the corner is blind and, with the pack so tightly bunched, it was inevitable that the backmarkers would reach the incident before the yellow flags could be unfurled.Jan Heylen was among the first on the scene, the Belgian checking up hurriedly and catching Tristan Gommendy unawares. The Frenchman had nowhere to go but over the rear of Heylen's Conquest car - which has had to be rebuilt after each of its last two race outings - and went almost vertical before crashing back down to earth.

Gommendy's 'moment' saw the chasing Katherine Legge, Graham Rahal and Alex Figge all take avoiding action, with the British girl collecting the wall and then Tracy's car before her accident was compounded by a secondary impact from Figge. Rahal, meanwhile, spun without too much damage and was able to join Heylen in limping back to the pits. It was day done for the Belgian, but Rahal was able to continue after a cautionary check.

Aside from the eleven cars running ahead of the incident, one other escaped unscathed as Robert Doornbos only happened on the melee after being restarted by the safety crew on the grid. Had the Mont-Tremblant winner been running in position, he too would likely have been caught up in the wreck, which took fully seven laps to clear.

Pagenaud and Tagliani both pitted under the safety car but, while the Frenchman was able to wait for the pits to open before calling in for a new nose, his Canadian rival was forced to enter a closed pit in order to have his punctured rear replaced. The ensuing penalty dropped the RSports driver to tail of the field and really kick-started a frustrating afternoon for him.

The order approaching the restart had Servia heading Bourdais, Wilson, Bruno Junqueira, Power, Neel Jani, Dan Clarke, Pagenaud, Doornbos, Ryan Dalziel, Tagliani and Rahal, with a smattering of the alter runners having opted to top off their tanks in the realisation that further cautions would be likely.



Related Pictures

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Champ Car World Series. 7-9 July 2007. Toronto Grand Prix. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  Will Power.
Champ Car World Series. 7-9 July 2007. Toronto Grand Prix. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  Nedel Jani.
Champ Car World Series. 7-9 July 2007. Grand Prix of Toronto. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  Justin Wilson.
Will Power chats with his race engineer in the Team Penske pit stand following practice for the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power streaks along the frontstretch during practice for the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power peels out of his pit stall to begin practice for the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at The Milwaukee Mile (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power and Takuma Sato crash out during the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power crashes out during the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power crosses the start/finish line during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Luca Filippi, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, races to a second-place finish Sunday, June 14, 2015 during the Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Fillip`s teammate, Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6, won the race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory Sunday, June 14, 2015 after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Newgarden`s teammate, Luca Filippi, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6, finished second. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, takes the chequered flag Sunday, June 14, 2015 to win the Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Newgarden`s teammate, Luca Filippi, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6, finished second. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, races to victory Sunday, June 14, 2015 winning the Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Newgarden`s teammate, Luca Filippi (rear), driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6, finished second. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Luca Filippi and Josef Newgarden celebrate with the CFH Racing team after finishing 1-2 in the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Josef Newgarden`s car and gloves on Victory Circle after winning the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Josef Newgarden celebrates in Victory Circle after winning the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Luca Filippi and Josef Newgarden celebrate in Victory Circle after finishing 1-2 in the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Luca Filippi, Helio Castroneves and Josef Newgarden celebrate on the podium after the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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