IndyCar Toronto: Kirkwood Beats Grosjean by 0.05s in Practice
In the practice session at Toronto’s Exhibition Place street course, Kyle Kirkwood emerged as the fastest driver with a lap time of 1m00.8075s, narrowly edging out Romain Grosjean.
The track conditions proved challenging due to the rough surface caused by a harsh winter in the city. Some sections of the track had been resurfaced, but the uneven asphalt, especially around Turn 8 and Turn 10 where manhole covers were positioned, caused cars to frequently bottom out. Graham Rahal criticized the track, describing it as “ridiculously bumpy” and “stupid.”
For the first 30 minutes, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing held the top two positions with Jack Harvey leading Christian Lundgaard. Local driver Devlin DeFrancesco briefly claimed the fastest time for Andretti Autosport before his teammates Colton Herta and Kirkwood, the winner of the Long Beach GP, took over.
Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing took the lead after 40 minutes with a time of 1m02.2594s, but he was quickly surpassed by his teammate Alex Palou, who set a time of 1m02.2554s, leading the points standings.
Alexander Rossi of Arrow McLaren ran later in the session and temporarily secured the fastest time with 1m02.0383s before brushing the wall at the final corner. Kirkwood then reclaimed the top spot with a time of 1m01.8639s, which remained the fastest lap on the primary tires, with Rossi and Pato O’Ward of McLaren closely behind.
Teams later switched to the softer alternate tires, indicated by the green sidewalls for this weekend. Christian Lundgaard initially set the pace with 1m01.6996s, but Palou quickly beat that with 1m01.3233s. However, Kirkwood once again took over first place with a lap time of 1m01.1237s.
Herta and Grosjean briefly made it an Andretti 1-2-3, but Felix Rosenqvist of Arrow McLaren and Rossi mixed things up by securing second and fourth place, respectively, although Rossi also clipped the wall.
In the end, Kirkwood maintained his position at the top, securing first place with a time of 1m00.8075s, 0.05s ahead of Grosjean. Rosenqvist, Herta, Scott McLaughlin of Team Penske, Marcus Ericsson of Ganassi, Rossi, and O’Ward rounded out the top positions. Palou slipped to 12th place.
Tom Blomqvist had his first experience in an IndyCar race weekend, substituting for Simon Pagenaud, who was not yet cleared to participate, at Meyer Shank Racing. Blomqvist finished the session in 26th place, almost 3s off the pace, but ahead of Santino Ferrucci of AJ Foyt Racing.
The second practice session will commence on Saturday at 10:35 am local time.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about IndyCar Toronto
Who set the fastest lap time in the practice session at IndyCar Toronto?
Kyle Kirkwood set the fastest lap time of 1m00.8075s in the practice session at IndyCar Toronto.
How close was Romain Grosjean to the fastest lap time?
Romain Grosjean was only 0.05s behind Kyle Kirkwood’s fastest lap time in the practice session.
Which team held the top two positions early in the practice session?
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing held the top two positions in the early stages of the practice session at IndyCar Toronto.
What were the track conditions like during the session?
The track conditions were challenging due to a rough surface caused by a harsh winter in Toronto. The bumpy track, especially around Turn 8 and Turn 10, caused cars to frequently bottom out.
Who had a brief turn at the top before Kirkwood took over?
Devlin DeFrancesco briefly held the fastest time for Andretti Autosport before Colton Herta and Kyle Kirkwood surpassed him.
Which team switched to the softer alternate tires later in the session?
Teams switched to the softer alternate tires later in the session, with the green sidewalls indicating their use for this weekend’s race.
Who finished in 26th place in the session?
Tom Blomqvist finished in 26th place in the practice session, substituting for Simon Pagenaud at Meyer Shank Racing.
When does the second practice session start?
The second practice session at IndyCar Toronto starts on Saturday at 10:35 am local time.