Penske’s Juan Pablo Montoya set the pace during the first free practice session for this weekend’s Honda Indy Toronto on Friday as the IndyCar field got to grips with the bumpy street circuit.
Montoya posted a fastest lap time of 1:00.6343 as the Penske drivers traded fastest laps towards the top of the timesheets throughout the session.
First practice was shortened to just 40 minutes after a number of delays throughout the morning, with the session not starting until just before 11am ET.
Once it did, Simon Pagenaud was the early pace setter for Penske, but the Frenchman was unable to sustain this form to the end of the session as Montoya came closest to dipping under the one minute mark.
Although he failed to turn a lap in less than 60 seconds, Montoya did enough to finish P1, beating Pagenaud into second place by 0.1579 seconds. CFH Racing’s Josef Newgarden rounded out the top three, finishing ahead of teammate Luca Filippi and KV Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais.
Defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion Will Power could only finish the session in sixth place ahead of teammate Helio Castroneves in P7. Graham Rahal finished eighth, whilst Charlie Kimball and Tony Kanaan rounded out the top ten in P9 and P10 respectively.
The session was brought to an early end after Scott Dixon’s Ganassi stopped out on track, warranting a red flag period. With less than two minutes remaining in the session, the track did not return to green before the checkered flag was shown, bringing first practice to a close.
Drivers will get another chance to put in some laps around the streets of Toronto in second practice, which is set to kick off at 2:45pm ET.
“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.
“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”
Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something
we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”