IndyCar: Two red flags for rain postpone first Toronto race start (UPDATED)


TORONTO, 5:10 p.m. ET – We have confirmation from INDYCAR that the race, if it resumes, will be 65 laps or 90 minutes, whichever comes first.

5:00 p.m. ET – Guess what. We have another red flag. No determination on when this one will get back going, as yet.

4:55 p.m. ET – Since the last update, we’ve had a pace car spin and Will Power spin with contact into the Turn 11 barrier. Thus far, we have not completed any scored laps or time yet.

Power told NBCSN’s Marty Snider, “I just whipped it around, I had no chance. My bad. I don’t know, obviously at the front it’s a lot easier to see. Starting 18th you can’t see a thing. I don’t know. We’ll get out, it’ll take about an hour to fix it. That’s the worst spot on the track to have it. To not even start the race is a bad deal man. You sit there and think that’s a big chunk of points right there. Was not ready for that.”

4:25 p.m. ET – Visibility concerns for drivers has prompted a change from a standing start to a single-file rolling start. The race is expected to go green on the second time by.

4:05 p.m. ET: The first of the Honda Indy Toronto races is now on a temporary delay, as a red flag has been issued just before the start for race one.

What had been a steady drizzle in the hour leading up to the race has intensified; additionally, visibility issues have been reported by drivers around the 1.755-mile circuit.

“As you saw we tried to get the race underway, and see if the rain could ease off. The race technically hasn’t started yet, so teams can go to their box. They can do whatever they want to their cars. Hopefully the weather will ease up,” said IndyCar president of competition and operations Derrick Walker to NBCSN. “There was a lot of feedback from the teams the visibility was pretty bad.”

“It’s just the spray,” Jimmy Vasser, team co-owner of KVSH Racing told NBCSN’s Kevin Lee. “It could be interesting going into Turn 3. With the rain, it changes every situation.”

“The spray’s massive; behind me it’s awful so I can understand this call,” said KVSH’s Sebastien Bourdais, who scored the Verizon P1 award for the race.

“You get a little more anxious; steady rain is easier than rain, sun and rain, sun,” Penske Racing president Tim Cindric told NBCSN as well.

You can watch it live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra; stay tuned for MotorSportsTalk for further updates. The race will be a two-hour time limit, or 85 laps, whichever comes first. Teams are in the pits for changes.

IndyCar 2015 Driver Review: Gabby Chaves

Gabby Chaves
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MotorSportsTalk continues its run through the driver-by-driver field in the Verizon IndyCar Series. In 15th and the rookie-of-the-year for 2015, was Gabby Chaves.

Gabby Chaves, No. 98 Bryan Herta Autosport Honda

  • 2014: Indy Lights champion
  • 2015: 15th Place, Best Finish 9th, Best Start 12th, 0 Top-5, 2 Top-10, 31 Laps Led, 19.3 Avg. Start, 14.4 Avg. Finish

Some drivers finish better than their performances show. Some drivers have performances better than their results show. The latter statement applied to Gabby Chaves in his rookie year, in what was an impressive first season after making the step up from Indy Lights, which deservedly earned him rookie-of-the-year honors.

The best comparison I’d make for Gabby is of Josef Newgarden in 2012 with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, a first-year driver on a single-car, newish team to the series.

Chaves rarely dazzled in qualifying but that wasn’t his fault; he and engineer John Dick worked well together and Chaves recounted multiple times this year that a tweak here or tweak there, the wrong way, on the aero kit would send them down the wrong setup path.

Results in races didn’t measure up either but again that was through almost no fault of his own. The only time Chaves looked truly like a rookie was at St. Pete, when he had several collisions. Otherwise he was ahead of eventual winner James Hinchcliffe at NOLA before getting punted off, reliable through the month of May in Indianapolis, finally able to break through for a ninth place in Detroit race two, overachieving in Texas, 11th at Milwaukee after some great wheel-to-wheel racing with series winners and champions, and then phenomenal at Pocono as he was on course for a first career win or podium before late-race engine issues – his first DNF of the season.

For both Chaves and Herta, you’d love to see them together for another season, and the results and confidence for both parties will grow as a result. Those who’ve seen Newgarden’s rise over four years with Fisher and now CFH will note the long-term stability, and that’s what Chaves could do if he gets the time.

He planted the seed of being a great IndyCar driver, and he became pretty versatile during the year too with additional appearances in the DeltaWing prototype, a short-track midget and one of Herta’s Red Bull Global Rallycross cars. To boot, he’s a smart, great kid who is mature beyond his years, and someone you should be buying stock in now. Anyone who saw Chaves in the Mazda Road to Indy should not have been surprised by his rookie season in the big cars.

Off The Grid: Monza preview (premieres Saturday 10/10 on NBCSN)

F1 Grand Prix of Italy
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Having already taken you behind the scenes in Barcelona, Budapest, Singapore, Melbourne and Silverstone, Will Buxton and Jason Swales now head to one of Formula 1’s most iconic venues for the latest episode of Off The Grid.

Monza has appeared in all but one F1 season since the formation of the world championship in 1950, and is a firm favorite among drivers, teams and fans alike.

However, there is far more to the Italian Grand Prix than meets the eye, as we find out in Saturday’s premiere of Off The Grid: Monza at 9:30am ET (follows Russian GP qualifying).

Having honed his talents in go-karts as a kid, Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo is now trying to pass on his knowledge to the next generation of racers. But can he teach Will or Jason a thing or two?

We also catch up with Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and get a feel for life on the road as he takes us for a tour of his lavish bus in which he travels in for the European F1 races.

Have you ever wondered just how the suits F1 drivers wear are made? We go behind the scenes at Alpine Stars’ factory in Italy and find out.

Off The Grid: Monza premieres on Saturday at 9:30am ET on NBCSN following Russian GP qualifying.