Gunning for his first victory of 2013, Will Power has made his way to the front of the field and leads the Honda Indy Toronto at the halfway point.
Power took the lead from Sebastian Bourdais on Lap 32 shortly after the first cycle of green flag stops ended. Bourdais had managed to keep his advantage through the cycle, but was unable to stop Power from pulling off an inside pass in Turn 1 on the 1.75-mile Exhibition Place street circuit.
A full-course yellow on Lap 35 for contact between Tristan Vautier and Graham Rahal erased a two-second edge for Power, but he was able to hold off Bourdais on the next restart at Lap 40. Scott Dixon was able to pass Bourdais shortly after in Turn 3, moving to second position.
At halfway, pole sitter Dario Franchitti was running behind Bourdais in fourth, while Andretti Autosport’s E.J. Viso held the fifth position.
The race was set to begin with the IZOD IndyCar Series’ first-ever standing start, but when the field lined up on the main straightaway Josef Newgarden stalled on the grid and forced INDYCAR Race Control to declare an aborted start. That meant a traditional rolling start would take place instead, ruining the considerable buildup for the standing start.
As the race began under essentially yellow flag conditions, Newgarden would finally get on his way but again appeared to lose power on his No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda and came to a stop in Turn 5. That delayed the first green flag of the day further until Lap 5.
Franchitti would keep the lead until Lap 22, when Bourdais took it from him with an inside pass at Turn 5. Power and Dixon shortly followed, knocking Franchitti back to fourth.
Status Grand Prix has set its sights on winning the 2016 GP2 Series championship following its decision to close down its GP3 team at the end of the current season.
Earlier this week, GP3 issued a statement confirming its team roster for the next three seasons that featured new entries from DAMS and Virtuosi Racing.
However, both Carlin and Status did not appear on the list, signalling that both had opted to leave GP3 at the end of 2015.
Status first entered GP3 back in 2010, but only set up a GP2 team in 2015 after taking over the old Caterham Racing operation.
This will now become the main focus for the Irish outfit, though, as explained by team boss Teddy Yip Jr. earlier this week.
“Status Grand Prix has not renewed entry into the GP3 Series from 2016 onwards in order to maximize focus on our GP2 campaign,” Yip said.
“Having finished second in the team championship in the inaugural GP3 Series, we have enjoyed six successful years in the category collecting nine race wins, 26 podium finishes and vying for numerous team and driver titles.
“We are very proud to have given opportunities and achieved success with drivers such as Robert Wickens, Antonio Felix da Costa, Alexander Sims and our current GP2 race winner, Richie Stanaway.
“We now look forward to finishing the 2015 GP2 and GP3 seasons on a high before mounting a robust GP2 title campaign in 2016.”
Both GP2 and GP3 return from a one-month break next weekend in support of the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix.
Two-time Formula 1 world champion Mika Hakkinen has heaped praise upon Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen, supporting his decision to ignore team orders during last month’s Singapore Grand Prix.
Verstappen only turned 18 on Wednesday, but has already made a big impression on the F1 world during his first 14 races with his aggressive driving style and mature approach to racing.
In Singapore, Verstappen was told by Toro Rosso to let faster teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. go past, but refused to give up his position and eventually beat the Spaniard to finish eighth.
Writing in his Hermes blog, Hakkinen backed Verstappen’s decision to stay ahead and praised the Dutchman for his performances so far this season.
“A driver must be alert and keep track of what is happening around him at all times,” Hakkinen wrote. “That’s what Verstappen is. He does not simply let anyone pass if it’s not for the world championship, but only a few championship points.
“Verstappen is 18 years old, but the guy’s already a real pro. Young people are developing incredibly fast nowadays, and by that I don’t mean just drivers.”
Despite having more than half a season of F1 racing under his belt, Verstappen only gained his road driver’s license on his 18th birthday, having previously been under the age limit to drive a regular car in public.