By Dylan Reynolds, The Open Wheel
The INDYCAR season continues this weekend on the Streets of Toronto for the Verizon IndyCar Series Honda Indy Toronto and the Cooper Tires Indy Lights Grand Prix of Toronto Presented by Allied Building Products. The Open Wheel will be covering the action all weekend so stay tuned to this site and our Twitter page @openwh33l for all of the latest news.
Photo by Christy Reynolds/The Open Wheel
Indy Lights Preview: Cooper Tires Indy Lights Grand Prix of Toronto Presented by Allied Building Products (Entry List), Race 1 – Saturday, July 15, 2017 1:00PM (ET) & Race 2 – Sunday, July 16, 2017 12:15PM (ET) – Street course ace Felix Rosenqvist won both Race 1 and Race 2 in Indy Lights on the Streets of Toronto last year but it’s wide open this year without him in the series. Kyle Kaiser and Santiago Urrutia had the best results of the returning drivers as they finished P3 and P4 in each of the races last year. This could be the weekend for Santi Urrutia to break through as Rosenqvist drove for the Belardi Auto Racing team Urrutia now drives for this year so he should have a strong car. Colton Herta and Aaron Telitz won the only other races on a street course this season at St. Pete so they could be setup for much-needed good results this weekend. The Carlin cars struggled at Toronto last year so it will be interesting to see what the streaking Matheus Leist can come up with. It’s a “home race” for Canadian Zachary Claman De Melo and he’ll be motivated to make up for last year’s dual P13 finishes. My picks to win: Kyle Kaiser & Santi Urrutia
Verizon IndyCar Series Preview: Honda Indy Toronto, Sunday, July 16, 2017 3:00PM (ET) CNBC – Previous driver experience shows 5 former winners at Toronto in the field in Will Power (4), Scott Dixon (2), Ryan Hunter-Reay (1), and Josef Newgarden (1). The Top 5 in laps led at Toronto racing this weekend are Power (161), Dixon (151), Helio Castroneves (77), Newgarden (37), and Hunter-Reay (36). Looking at the box scores 2016 and 2015, Power and Castroneves have finished in the Top 5 in each of the last two years. If that’s expanded to the Top 10, those two are joined by Kanaan, Sato, and Dixon. Local favorite James Hinchcliffe finished on the podium in Toronto last year and has been brilliant on street courses so far in 2017. He won at Long Beach, was on the podium in Race 1 at Belle Isle, and had a Top 10 at St. Pete. He’s also qualified in the Top 5 at every street course event this year. My pick to win: James Hinchcliffe – I think The Mayor delivers in Canada this weekend. He’s been incredible on street courses in 2017 and I think he’s going to rise to the occasion this weekend. That would be an incredible story for INDYCAR.
My fantasy.indycar.com picks: James Hinchcliffe, Will Power, Josef Newgarden, and Charlie Kimball – You know my thoughts on Hinchcliffe. Power won last year, has both the most active wins and laps led at Toronto, and he’s been very strong lately making him one of the favorites this weekend. Newgarden won this event back in 2015 and will have one of the best cars in the field now that he’s with Team Penske. That win is still his only Top 10 finish at Toronto in 7 starts but it’s a whole different ballgame with Penske. Kimball is a value pick this weekend at $15 and I need a pick at that dollar figure to make this team work. However, Kimball has 4 Top 10’s in 8 career starts at Toronto so he could be in line for a strong finish this weekend.