Pagenaud Quickest In Toronto

| , RacinToday.com Friday, July 15 2016
Simon Pagenaud led practice in Canada.

Simon Pagenaud led practice in Canada on Friday.


Points-leader Simon Pagenaud set the pace during practice Friday on the 1.786-mile, 11-turn temporary circuit in Toronto. He posted his fast lap in the last of the day’s two 45-minute practice sessions, at 1 minute, 1.7081 seconds (104.194 mph) in his Team Penske Chevrolet.

“I kind of like changes so I’m good with it,” Pagenaud said of the altered track layout that’s seen pit lane moved from one side of the main straight to the other and the final four turns tightened. “It’s definitely a big change to the last few years. We’re never used to changes but personally I enjoy it.”

Pagenaud edged teammates Helio Castroneves and Will Power on the time sheets.

“The PPG car was fast, good,” said the three-time 2016 race winner, who holds a 73-point lead in the standings over defending Toronto race winner Josef Newgarden. “We made some adjustments for Practice 2. It actually went better than we expected. We’re on a good pace this weekend.”

Castroneves quick lap was at 1:01.9091 (103.855 mph).

“With the new changes on the track, it’s just like a new track,” Castroneves said. “You’ve got to learn, you’ve got to try new things. No question, we just start all over again. I guesstomorrow is going to continue going faster.”

Hometown favorite James Hinchcliffe was fifth overall and the top Honda driver at 1:02.1867 (103.392 mph) in the No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports entry. The native of nearby Oakville, Ontario, is also getting adjusted to the track layout.

“Obviously it’s a pretty big learning process for everybody out there,” Hinchcliffe said. “One-third of the lap roughly is completely different than it has been for as long as I’ve been racing here. It’s definitely very challenging.”


| , RacinToday.com Friday, July 15 2016
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