CFH Racing had a weekend to remember in Toronto when Josef Newgarden claimed his second career victory – also his second of the 2015 season – when he finished ahead of teammate Luca Filippi at a wet and slippery Honda Indy Toronto.
Newgarden, who qualified eleventh-fastest in the #67 Hartman Oil Chevrolet, led his Italian teammate across the start-finish line by 1.448 seconds in an exciting 85-lap race on the 2.874-kilometre (1.755-mile) Exhibition Place street circuit.
“I’m so happy we were able to get a win, but a 1-2, it just amazing because Luca is such a star,” beamed Newgarden, who also won the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in April. “Just an amazing team effort. I’m definitely excited because this is Toronto and this is an IndyCar town.”
Team Penske teammates Hélio Castroneves and Will Power, the pole sitter, finished third and fourth respectively, while last year’s Toronto racewinner, Sébastien Bourdais, finished fifth in his #11 KVSH Racing entry.
CFH Racing had a weekend to forget eight days earlier in the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway, with mechanical issues biting Newgarden’s car and the #20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet entry of owner/driver Ed Carpenter, who won on the 1.5-mile oval the previous year.
Until his victory on Sunday, Newgarden’s win at Alabama was his only top-five finish of the season, while Filippi had not scored a top-five finish in his seven road/street course race appearances this season.
“I’ve been pretty down since the performances at Indy and at Texas. It was so disappointing,” Carpenter said. “But we knew we had strong street course cars all year long. The best part of it is that both drivers and both crews executed on the same day and we all get to celebrate together. That is the most fun. Just a huge day.”
The race saw seven lead changes between six drivers and some great overtaking manoeuvres in the 85 lap race, which began on wet tyres and was slowed by two brief full-course yellows.
Newgarden pitted for tyres and fuel on Lap 28, just before the first yellow caution came for contact by the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda #7 of James Jakes, which slid into the tyre barrier in Turn 5 but was able to rejoin with assistance from the trackside marshals.
Newgarden remained in contention in the top five through to his last stop on Lap 58, and reclaimed the lead on Lap 72 when former Marussia reserve driver Rodolfo González pitted in the #18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda – the Venezuelan even led the race for five laps after starting from the back of the grid.
“It was close racing but for sure, and I got a little lucky on that yellow,” said Newgarden, who became the sixth American driver to win on the streets of Toronto.
“It was a great call though and it was an amazing effort by this team and the crew who gave me amazing pit stops.”
Filippi recorded his best finish in 16 IndyCar Series races, dating back to 2013.
“We had a goal to be on the podium and we both achieved it with both cars, so it’s nice when you set the goal and you achieve it and the team did everything perfectly to give us the opportunity to be up front,” he added. “But we had a fast car and we knew we needed to be kind of in the clean air up in front and this is what we did – just kept pushing. I thank the Fuzzy Vodka team because they believe in me and they gave me the opportunity to race IndyCar properly and my first podium with many more to come.”
Team Penske’s Juan Pablo Montoya, who finished seventh for his best result in five starts at what is something of a bogey circuit for the Colombian, holds a 27-point championship lead over Power (374-347) after 10 races of the 16-race calendar.
Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scot Dixon is third in the drivers champion on 329 points and seven ahead of Team Penske’s Castroneves. Thirty-nine points behind the Brazilian and rounding out the top five on 283 points is Rahal-Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal.
Three ovals are ahead on the calendar beginning with the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana on June 27.
|2015 IndyCar Series Honda Indy Toronto – Final Classification (85 laps)|
|Pos||Driver||Team / Entry||Laps||Result|
|1.||Josef Newgarden||CFH Racing||85||1:38:59.946|
|2.||Luca Filippi||CFH Racing||85||+ 1.4475|
|3||Hélio Castroneves||Team Penske||85||+ 4.1997|
|4.||Will Power||Team Penske||85||+ 5.0736|
|5.||Sébastien Bourdais||KV Racing Technology||85||+ 7.0185|
|6.||Tony Kanaan||Chip Ganassi Racing||85||+ 8.1130|
|7.||Juan Pablo Montoya||Team Penske||85||+ 9.0212|
|8.||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||85||+ 9.8367|
|9.||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||85||+ 12.1674|
|10.||Takuma Sato||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||85||+ 18.9723|
|11.||Simon Pagenaud||Team Penske||85||+ 20.6315|
|12.||Conor Daly||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||85||+ 21.9187|
|13.||Marco Andretti||Andretti Autosport||85||+ 33.2063|
|14.||Jack Hawksworth||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||85||+ 44.5250|
|15.||Gabby Chaves||Bryan Herta Autosport||85||+ 46.0971|
|16.||Sebastián Saavedra||Chip Ganassi Racing||85||+ 46.6248|
|17.||Tristan Vautier||Dale Coyne Racing||85||+ 47.0229|
|18.||Rodolfo González||Dale Coyne Racing||85||+ 51.3658|
|19.||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport||84||1 lap behind|
|20.||Charlie Kimball||Chip Ganassi Racing||84||1 lap behind|
|21.||James Jakes||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||84||1 lap behind|
|Not Classified||Team / Entry||Laps||Result|
|DNF.||Carlos Muñoz||Andretti Autosport||69||Mechanical|
|DNF.||Stefano Coletti||KV Racing Technology||40||Accident|
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