Toronto Update: Scott Dixon on the march (VIDEO)

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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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Williams confirms Kubica and Sirotkin for Abu Dhabi F1 test

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Williams has confirmed that Robert Kubica will enjoy his third Formula 1 test outing with the team at the end-of-season running in Abu Dhabi next week as rumors grow regarding a possible race seat for 2018.

Almost seven years after his last F1 start, Kubica’s remarkable return from severe injuries sustained in a rally accident saw him enjoy two private tests with Renault before completing running with the team in a 2017-spec car in Hungary over the summer.

Reservations over Kubica’s capabilities prompted Renault to pass on giving him a seat, instead opting to hire Carlos Sainz Jr. for next year, only for Williams to become an alternative for the Pole.

Kubica tested a 2014-spec Williams at both Silverstone and the Hungaroring in recent months, and will now sample a 2017 car when he tests at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Kubica will share track time with regular Williams racer Lance Stroll and Russian youngster Sergey Sirotkin, who has worked with Renault over the past two years but also missed out on a 2018 seat.

“Williams Martini Racing is pleased to confirm it will run Robert Kubica and Sergey Sirotkin for the Abu Dhabi Pirelli tire test, alongside current race driver Lance Stroll,” a statement from the team reads.

“The Pirelli tire test will take place over two days at the Yas Marina circuit during the week following the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“On day one Robert Kubica will drive the FW40 in the morning session, before Lance Stroll takes over in the afternoon.

“On day two Sergey Sirotkin will drive in the morning and afternoon sessions before handing over to Robert in the late afternoon.

“The test is aimed at evaluating 2018 candidate tires on behalf of the Formula 1 tire supplier Pirelli.

“Williams is excited to have this opportunity to assess the new tyres across such an interesting range of drivers: Lance, as confirmed race driver for 2018, Robert with his huge experience, and Sergey as a very promising young talent in Formula 1.”

Williams denied earlier this week it has signed Kubica to partner Stroll for 2018, but indications are the deal looks very likely to go ahead, subject to the relevant paperwork and contracts being finalized.