Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Rain, Rain Go Away: Opening Honda Indy Toronto Race Delayed by Wet Conditions

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Rain, Rain Go Away: Opening Honda Indy Toronto Race Delayed by Wet Conditions

Article excerpt

Wet conditions postpone first Toronto Indy

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TORONTO - When the pace car began sliding around the Toronto track, IndyCar knew it was in trouble.

The Honda Indy Toronto was postponed Saturday after steady rain throughout the afternoon made for hazardous conditions on the 11-turn, 2.81-kilometre track at Exhibition Place.

"I'm gutted. I just feel so bad for all the fans here in Toronto," said driver James Hinchcliffe of Oakville, Ont. "It's the worst case scenario -- the rain started right as the race was supposed to start, the conditions were just so bad.

"Just gutted for these guys. I really hope we can get back tomorrow and mother nature co-operates a bit more and we can put on a show. These fans have been great all week and they definitely deserve it."

The race was moved to Sunday morning, with the second half of a planned doubleheader still scheduled for the afternoon. Both races were also shortened from 85 laps to 65.

The morning race will feature a rolling start, while the second will be a standing start. Qualifying for the second race will also be determined by current points standings, which puts Helio Castroneves on pole.

Driver visibility and a slick street course led to a pair of accidents before Saturday's race ever got started when Ryan Briscoe and Will Power each hit the wall. Even the pace car nearly slid into a corner.

"The conditions were tough for sure," said Ryan Hunter-Reay. "I can't speak for the drivers in the back on how visibility was but it was borderline -- marginal even -- for us."

Sebastien Bourdais was set to start on pole after qualifying first in the morning session. Bourdais waited under an umbrella through two red flags that twice pulled the cars off the track as IndyCar officials hoped for the weather to clear.

It never did. Bourdais, who was to start a race from the pole for the first time since 2007, looked steamed as he left the pits for good. He'll start again in first place Sunday morning.

IndyCar president Derrick Walker said race officials waited as long as they could for conditions to improve. …

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