IndyCar Series officials were forced to abandon Saturday’s opening race of the Toronto double-header due to torrential rain, which proved heavy enough to cause the Safety Car to crash while attempting to get the race going as scheduled.

Officials twice attempted to get the 85-lap race (subsequently shortened to 65 tours) going, only for there to be too much standing water on the 1.7-mile track’s high-speed back straight.

After initially releasing the 23-car onto the track for some reconnaissance laps, the red flags were quickly thrown when it was immediately apparent that visibility was too poor.

After a lengthy delay, they had another crack, but this was even more farcical. Kicking off a bizarre sequence of events, the Honda Safety Car spun with former champ Arie Luyendyk at the wheel, grazing its left-rear corner against the wall as it snapped sideways under braking and slid up the escape road.

Ryan Briscoe gently slid his Chip Ganassi Racing entry into the tyres but got going, but the same luck did not befall front-row starter Will Power, who slammed into the wall at the final corner and damaged his rear suspension.

The result could have been catastrophic for the Team Penske driver, who fell to second in the Drivers’ Championship standings last weekend with a nine-point deficit to teammate Hélio Castroneves.

In the end, officials decided to red flag proceedings and re-attempt the race on Sunday at 10:30am local time, with the second leg of the double-header scheduled for later in the afternoon at 4:15pm. Both races’ distances have been shortened to 65 of their original 85-lap distances, with the grid for the second race to be determined by entrant points.

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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.