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Prepare for carnage, cautions and churlishness in Canada on Sunday. The last four races at Exhibition Place have averaged four cautions each, with a first lap pile up last year and multiple red flags in the rain. Compared to Texas that’s a demolition derby. The course is a challenging combination of concrete and asphalt even in dry conditions, which were almost completely absent in 2014. There was no such excuse for 2013. Historically Toronto’s a Canuck concrete car crusher and a godsend for Italy’s Dallara Automibili. North of the border, it’s free gelato for everyone!
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Appropriate for Canada, last year’s double headers were won by a Frenchman and an Englishman – Sebastien Bourdais and Mike Conway. All this Euro flair occurred on Sunday due to rain completely washing Saturday out and was the first one day double header with full points since 1981. As a result of the humidity both races were shortened and the second was timed. TCGR’s Scott Dixon swept the 2013 double header, winning the crash-fest second race – with a total of seven caution flags – under yellow.
Photo from torontosun.com
The thirty first IndyCar race to take place in Toronto looks to be dry for a pleasant change this season and will be a stand-alone race for the first time since 2012. That’s when Ryan Hunter-Reay broke through for a dramatic win with AA. Team Penske comes fresh off a disappointing effort at Texas and looks to be a sure bet to regroup this weekend. Target Ganassi Racing has the momentum after Dixie’s win in Denton – a race that could have used more cautions – and a string of strong showings of late. Andretti Autosport – like most all the Honda teams save for Graham Rahal and occasionally SPM – continues to scuffle this season and needs a good result. Unfortunately Canada’s favorite son and only driver currently in the series won’t be participating as James Hinchcliffe is still recovering from serious injuries sustained in a practice crash at Indy. Hoosier Conor Daly’s slated to fill in again.
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Due to past infractions a number of drivers remain on probation, including rookies Sage Karam and Stefano “faster than Andretti” Coletti. It’ll be interesting to see if race control’s recent iron fist of justice has calmed down some of the drivers or not, for the concrete canyons of Canada tend to bring out the churlishness in chariot drivers. It’s one of the race’s few charms.
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CFH‘s Lucca Filippi caused last year’s first lap pile up in the early AM and will be looking to rebound from a disappointing string of races while his team mate Josef Newgarden has experienced a nasty first win hangover following his breakthrough at Barber. In this season’s previous street fight AJ Foyt‘s Takuma Sato nearly shocked the world at Detroit’s second race finishing second behind Bourdais, while Carlos Munoz won in an “ok” performance in the first race on Belle Isle. Let’s hope the show on Sunday is more than ok at Toronto – and for more than just Dallara.
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