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Sebastien Bourdais Wins Honda Indy Toronto Race 1 and Mike Conway Takes Race 2

July 20th, 2014 at 8:10 PM
By Mark Eddinger

For the first time since 1981 the Verizon IndyCar Series ran a same-day doubleheader due to Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto being rained out on Saturday. Sebastien Bourdais conquered Race 1 Sunday morning by leading 58 of 65 laps to win his first race since 2007 to end a 52 race winless streak. In Race 2 the rain returned and it was Mike Conway who played the track conditions to perfection to pick up the win.

Le Mans Live Michelin / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The win for Bourdais, driving for KVSH Racing, was the 32nd of his career which moved him into eighth place on the all-time wins list. His other 31 wins all came between 2003 and 2007. He was the CART champion from 2004 to 2007.

"I really could not be any happier and thanks to the fans, thanks for the support all these years, it's been six years man just like yesterday for the pole and it's damn sweet," Bourdais said after exiting his car.

Conway's win in Race 2 of the 2inT.O. was the second of the season for the Ed Carpenter Racing driver who is only running the road and street course races. It is the third win overall for Ed Carpenter Racing this season and the fourth win of Conway's career.

Race 1 of Sunday's doubleheader for the Verizon IndyCar Series got underway on the streets of Toronto after being postponed from Saturday due to rain and Sebastien Bourdais started from the pole after winning the Verizon P1 Award for the race in dry conditions Saturday morning. Will Power, who qualified second had crashed on one of the attempted starts on Saturday that got waved off and he had to start Race 1 from the rear.

The rolling start for the 65 lap Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto on a dry Sunday morning only lasted until the exit of Turn 3 when Luca Filippi got into Simon Pagenaud and spun him around. His car blocked the track and Josef Newgarden, Takuma Sato, Carlos Munoz, and Mike Conway got caught up in the carnage of the blocked track. Filippi and Sato got the worst damage and finished 22nd and 23rd. Pagenaud, Newgarden, and Munoz would continue after a red flag to clean up the track and remove Sato's car.

The race would get going and Sebastien Bourdais would dominate. At lap 30 Bourdais led over Ryan Hunter-Reay, Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan, and Scott Dixon in the top five. Will Power was up to 11th. On lap 33 Castroneves passed Hunter-Reay for second.

Bourdais pitted from the lead on lap 34 and then Castroneves gave up the lead on lap 35 to pit. Simon Pagenaud, who had pitted on lap 10, then led and was running fast laps on a clean track and then when he pitted he came out fourth which was a major jump for him after being in the first crash. Bourdais was back to the lead when Pagenaud pitted.

On lap 38 Hunter-Reay tried to pass Kanaan but was pinched into the wall and damaged his suspension majorly. Hunter-Reay was done for the race and finished 21st. Bourdais ran over Hunter-Reay's front wing debris but luckily did not suffer a puncture.

Bourdais continued to keep his lead at about four seconds on Castroneves all the way up until two laps to go. On lap 64 Josef Newgarden tried to pass Will Power for tenth but overran the corner and when he tried to turn around in the run off area he clipped his rear on the wall and broke his suspension. He finished 20th.

Bourdais survived getting through the lap car of Juan Pablo Montoya on the final lap and was able to keep the lead over Castroneves. At the end of Race 1 Castroneves extended his lead to 28 points over Will Power.

Race 2 was again scheduled for 65 laps but would start with a standing start based on points which had Castroneves on the pole. The first caution flew on lap 1 when Tony Kanaan couldn't make Turn 3 and stalled. Justin Wilson also had stalled on the grid.

The race restarted on lap 4 and Castroneves led. Pagenaud experienced an electrical issue on lap 6 and dropped back through the field. By the end of the race the issue relegated him to a 22nd place finish.

Rain started to fall and by lap 12 the track was becoming wet but before teams switched to the rain tires the second caution flew on lap 13 for a big pile up in Turn 8. Montoya had gotten into the tire barrier and then Hinchcliffe, and Aleshin made heavy contact into his car. Hinchcliffe finished 18th, Montoya 19th, and Aleshin 22nd. Luckily Aleshin was okay after having Montoya's car sitting on top of him.

The race restarted on lap 20 with Newgarden in the lead and Bourdais second. They did not switch to wet tires yet. Castroneves did put on wet tires and restarted in third. On lap 21 Castroneves took the lead from Newgarden and later in the lap Newgarden spun. He and Bourdais both pitted at the end of lap 21 to put on the rain tires. On lap 22 Carlos Huertas spun and on lap 24 the third caution flew for debris that fell off of Huertas' car.

The race restarted on lap 28 with a very wet track still and Jack Hawksworth spun out. Castroneves held off some challenges from Power to maintain the lead.

On lap 33 the fourth caution flew for Luca Filippi who was stalled. The race would restart on lap 35 but also there were only 28 minutes left in the 80 minute time limit of the race. It became clear the race would not get to 65 laps.

Will Power took the lead after some contact with Castroneves on lap 42 as there was a dry line starting to form on the track. Mike Conway along with Carlos Munoz were the first drivers to decide to switch back to the racing slicks for their tire choice and it proved to be the winning move for Conway.

The fifth caution would fly on lap 44 when Sebastian Saavedra was in the tire barrier. He finished 21st. The lead cars pitted to get onto the slicks but Justin Wilson stayed out on rain tires along with Newgarden, Huertas, and Filippi. Mike Conway was fifth on the slicks followed by Power and Castroneves who had pitted. The race restarted on lap 49 with 9 minutes left. It didn't take long for Conway to storm to the lead as he went past Wilson on lap 50.

The sixth caution then flew on lap 51 for a pile up that started when Charlie Kimball and Carlos Huertas made contact. Huertas spun and then getting collected were Castroneves, Hunter-Reay, Filippi, and Briscoe. Castroneves did damage to his front wing. On lap 52 Graham Rahal stalled ending his race and he finished 20th.

IndyCar officials made the call to red flag and stop the race clock with 4 minutes and 30 second left. After a short cleanup the yellow flag came back out and the race restarted on lap 54 with 2 minutes and 30 seconds left. That set up three final laps and Conway was able to run three flawless laps to pick up his second victory of the season as he took the checkered flag at the end of lap 56.

Weather certainly made for a challenging weekend for the 2inT.O. forcing Sunday's doubleheader where 121 total laps were run.

The finishing order of Race 1 was Sebastien Bourdais, Helio Castroneves second, Tony Kanaan third, Simon Pagenaud fourth, Scott Dixon fifth, Graham Rahal sixth, Charlie Kimball seventh, James Hinchcliffe eighth, Will Power ninth, and Justin Wilson tenth. Mikhail Aleshin was 11th, Ryan Briscoe 12th, Jack Hawksworth 13th, Carlos Huertas 14th, Mike Conway 15th, Marco Andretti 16th, Carlos Munoz 17th, Juan Pablo Montoya 18th, Sebastian Saavedra 19th, Josef Newgarden 20th, Ryan Hunter-Reay 21st, Luca Filippi 22nd, and Takuma Sato 23rd.

The finishing order of Race 2 was Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan second, Will Power third, Charlie Kimball fourth, Takuma Sato fifth, Jack Hawksworth sixth, Scott Dixon seventh, Marco Andretti eighth, Sebastien Bourdais ninth, and Justin Wilson tenth. Ryan Briscoe was 11th, Helio Castroneves 12th, Josef Newgarden 13th, Ryan Hunter-Reay 14th, Carlos Huertas 15th, Luca Filippi 16th, Carlos Munoz 17th, James Hinchcliffe 18th, Juan Pablo Montoya 19th, Graham Rahal 20th, Sebastian Saavedra 21st, Simon Pagenaud 22nd, and Mikhail Aleshin 23rd.

Now after 14 of the 18 races in the 2014 season Helio Castroneves holds a 13 point lead over Will Power. Ryan Hunter-Reay is third but 69 points back. Simon Pagenaud is 71 back in fourth and Juan Pablo Montoya is 105 back in fifth. Scott Dixon is sixth, Carlos Munoz seventh, Tony Kanaan eighth, Marco Andretti ninth, and Sebastien Bourdais tenth.

The next race for the Verizon IndyCar Series is Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on August 3rd.

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Tags: Ed Carpenter Racing, Helio Castroneves, Honda Indy Toronto, IndyCar Series, Juan Pablo Montoya, KVSH Racing, Mike Conway, Motorsports, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Scott Dixon, Sebastien Bourdais, Simon Pagenaud, tony kanaan, Verizon IndyCar Series, Will Power

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