Looking for a doubleheader sweep (and a $100,000 prize that would go with it), Scott Dixon has dominated the first half of Race 2 at the Honda Indy Toronto. The New Zealand native, who has raced his way into the championship conversation in the IZOD IndyCar Series, currently leads points leader Helio Castroneves, Will Power, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Sebastien Bourdais at the halfway mark of today’s 85-lap affair.
E.J. Viso has had a steady day, rising four positions to run sixth as of halfway. Takuma Sato sits seventh, followed by Quebec native Alex Tagliani in eighth, Tristan Vautier in ninth, and Justin Wilson in tenth.
After failing to go off in yesterday’s first race of the weekend, today’s race began with a clean standing start. However, hometown favorite James Hinchcliffe did not take part in it because of a stuck throttle pedal in his No. 27 Andretti Autosport Chevrolet that caused him to lose four laps when he finally emerged on the race track.
When the lights went green, Dixon was able to hold the lead as the field barreled into Turn 1 and proceeded to stretch out a good margin over Castroneves, who moved from third to second on the opening lap. Seven laps after Tony Kanaan began the first cycle of green flag stops at Lap 17, Dixon pitted from the lead and was able to stay out front when the cycle was completed.
On Lap 36, Tony Kanaan’s day appeared to come to a close after slamming into the wall as he was heading onto the frontstretch, causing an apparent suspension failure on his No. 11 KV Racing Technology Chevrolet. However, he was able to get off the course and the race remained green.
See a video of the standing start below.
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Juncos Racing continued to bolster its entries in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires by signing Carlos Cunha to pilot a third Juncos Pro Mazda entry for 2018. Cunha, who finished third in the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season on the back of seven podium finishes, joins Rinus VeeKay and Robert Megennis in Juncos’ Pro Mazda lineup for 2018.
Cunha previously tested with the team at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in October and joined Juncos for the Chris Griffis Memorial test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in November, testing cars for both the Pro Mazda and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires teams.
“It’s great to become a part of Juncos Racing,” said the 18-year-old Cunha. “I am really excited to start the 2018 season with Juncos Racing. This fall we did some testing together and from there I was able to see how focused everyone on the team is and I even felt like I became a part of their family in no time. I am confident we will get great results together next year and I look forward to learning and growing more with the team. It will be a huge pleasure and also a great responsibility to carry the number one on my car, thanks to (2017 Pro Mazda champion Victor Franzoni) and I hope to deliver it back to the team at the end of the year!”
Team owner Ricardo Juncos added, “We are excited to add Carlos to our Pro Mazda lineup. From the moment we started testing with him in early October, we knew he would be a great fit for our team. Carlos has been very quick in testing and even had an impressive showing in the Indy Lights car at the Chris Griffis test back in October. He had a great run this past season in the Pro Mazda series and we are confident he will carry that momentum into the 2018 season.”