Franchitti’s pole legacy at Toronto spans three decades

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Dario Franchitti’s experience level is such that he has won poles at Toronto in three different decades. His pole on Friday for the first of the IZOD IndyCar Series’ Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader weekend is his fifth on the streets of Exhibition Place, to go along with other poles in 1997 (his rookie year in CART), 1998, 2009 and 2012.

“Gee, my first one was 1997. T.K. was here. Will was still at school. Dixie, what were you doing in 1997?” the Scot asked of several of his fellow Firestone Fast Six participants.

Franchitti made things a bit more difficult for himself after an incident in the morning, which sent his Target Chip Ganassi Racing crew scrambling to fix the right hand side of his car. The pole is his third of 2013, to go along with other poles at Long Beach and Detroit race one.

“It feels good to get our third pole of the year,” he said. “I made it difficult this morning. I made a mistake in Turn 5 there, took the right side off the car. The guys had to work and repair the car.

“But the Target car was good on Firestone blacks, Firestone reds. I was able to keep finding a little bit every lap. Even the second runner-up on tires in Q3, I was able to push a little bit more. Yeah, felt really good about that.”

Michael Schumacher’s son to make F1 practice debut at Nurburgring

F1 Mick Schumacher
Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images
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MARANELLO, Italy — Mick Schumacher, son of the legednary seven-time champion, will have an official Formula One drive during an F1 race weekend for the first time next week at the Nurburgring, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari said Tuesday.

Schumacher gets the practice drive in an Alfa Romeo on Oct. 9 on his home track in Germany as a member of Ferrari’s young driver program, taking over Antonio Giovinazzi’s car for the first session of the weekend.

“I am overjoyed to get this chance in free practice,” Schumacher said in a statement. “I’m going to prepare myself well, so that I can do the best possible job for the team and gain some valuable data for the weekend.”

The 21-year-old Schumacher leads the Formula 2 standings after winning races in Monza and Sochi. He won the European Formula 3 championship in 2018 and tested a Ferrari F1 car in Bahrain in April 2019. He also has done demonstration runs in his father’s old cars, most recently this month ahead of the Tuscan Grand Prix in a championship-winning 2004 Ferrari.

Michael Schumacher holds the F1 record with 91 victories, which Lewis Hamilton is on the verge of tying.

Ferrari said two other drivers in its academy program will also get practice drives in Formula One.

Callum Ilott, a British driver who is second to Mick Schumacher in F2, will drive an F1 Haas at the Nurburgring on the same day as Schumacher. Russian driver Robert Shwartzman will drive in practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Dec. 11, though Ferrari hasn’t said for which team.

The German round was added to the F1 schedule after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the season and will be officially known as the Eifel Grand Prix after a nearby mountain range. The Nurburgring last hosted F1 in 2013.