2012 Honda Indy Toronto 2012 Honda Indy Toronto 2012 Honda Indy Toronto

Momentum is a funny thing, and when you’re on it, you’re ON IT! Ryan Hunter-Reay is most definitely on it, as he delivered a truly commanding victory on the streets of Toronto yesterday to take the points lead in the 2012 IndyCar Drivers championship.

With the entire field surprisingly making it through the normally catastrophic Turn 3 unscathed, the field settled into a rhythm fairly early. In the formative stages of the race, former championship leader Will Power found himself running away to his third Toronto win after passing pole-sitter Dario Franchitti shortly after the green flag fell. Justin Wilson was running strongly in third place.

Hunter-Reay’s benefited from the misfortunes of his main championship rivals, who all fell around him. The first to fall was Scott Dixon, whose Honda engine decided enough was enough and spluttered to a halt on lap eight. Dario Franchitti suffered from pit lane problems when he failed to pull close enough to his crew on a mid-race stop, preventing the proper delivery of his ethanol fuel.

Josef Newgarden was running another good race, making plenty of good passing moves and executing a well-calculated strategy, to find himself running in fourth place late in the race, despite an earlier skirmish with Will Power which resulted in a light brush of Power’s front wing. While Power’s front wing eventually broke, forcing a hasty repair, Newgarden’s continued on, untroubled.

Unfortunately, his rookie status again reared its head, with the young Tennessean diving down the inside of Simon Pagenaud at Turn 3, sending him lightly into the barriers. He was eventually restarted and finished 13th, but the frustration on team owner Sarah Fisher’s face in pit lane was palpable.

Of Pagenaud, he delivered another very solid effort for the majority of the day, timing the first caution to perfection, caused when Graham Rahal overshot his braking into Simon PagenaudTurn 1 and struck the wall. Pagenaud had pitted just before, and when the remainder of the field came in for their own stops, the ‘Friendly Frog’, as he is affectionately known, casually strolled into the lead. A late stop for Pagenaud, however, cost him dearly, pushing him back down the order to eventually finish twelfth and the last of those on the lead lap.
Hunter-Reay, however, appeared to be running on rails all day, setting quick laps and pulling into the lead to the tune of 7.1 seconds before Newgarden’s late accident. At the restart with four laps remaining, all the tension and promised calamity of Lap 1 bubbled over, with Sébastian Bourdais pushed into the Turn 1 wall by Charlie Kimball, who was running brilliantly in second position. At the end of Lakeshore Boulevard at Turn 3, all hell broke loose, with Marco Andretti involved in a mix-up with multiple cars, while elsewhere in the same corner, Dario Franchitti made rear contact with Ryan Briscoe.

Charlie Kimball finished an excellent secondThis ensured the race would finish under yellow, with Hunter-Reay leading Charlie Kimball, Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Oriol Servià home as the Top 5 of the day.

With the championship lead now following wins in Milwaukee, Iowa and now Toronto, Hunter-Reay proved he is a capable driver on ovals and street circuits and is now firmly in control of the championship as the series heads to the airport layout of Edmonton in two weeks time.

2012 IndyCars Honda Indy Toronto – Final Classification (85 laps):

  Driver   Entrant   Laps Result
1. Ryan Hunter-Reay USA Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 85 1:33:26.5096
2. Charlie Kimball USA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 85 + 0.0757
3. Mike Conway GBR AJ Foyt Enterprises Honda 85 + 0.2848
4. Tony Kanaan BRA KV Racing Technology Chevrolet 85 + 1.6672
5. Oriol Servià ESP Dreyer & Reinbold / Panther Chevrolet 85 + 1.9128
6. Hélio Castroneves BRA Team Penske Chevrolet 85 + 2.4795
7. JR Hildebrand USA Panther Racing Chevrolet 85 + 2.6233
8. James Jakes GBR Dale Coyne Racing Honda 85 + 3.7294
9. Takuma Sato JPN Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 85 + 6.5633
10. Alex Tagliani CAN Bryan Herta Autosport Honda 85 + 9.9764
11. Rubens Barrichello BRA KV Racing Technology Chevrolet 85 + 11.4636
12. Simon Pagenaud (R) FRA Schmidt Hamilton Honda 85 + 43.8734
13. Josef Newgarden (R) USA Sarah Fisher Hartman Honda 84 1 lap behind
14. Sébastien Bourdais FRA Dragon Racing Chevrolet 84 1 lap behind
15. Will Power AUS Team Penske Chevrolet 84 1 lap behind
16. Marco Andretti USA Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 84 1 lap behind
17. Dario Franchitti GBR Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 84 1 lap behind
18. Ed Carpenter USA Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 84 1 lap behind
19. Ryan Briscoe AUS Team Penske Chevrolet 83 2 laps behind
20. EJ Viso VEN KV Racing Technology Chevrolet 81 4 laps behind
DNF. Justin Wilson GBR Dale Coyne Racing Honda 67 Contact
DNF. James Hinchcliffe CAN Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 28 Mechanical
DNF. Graham Rahal USA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 23 Contact
DNF. Simona de Silvestro SUI Lotus-HVM Racing Lotus 9 Mechanical
DNF. Scott Dixon NZL Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 7 Mechanical

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Matthew Lennon
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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.