Honda Drivers Rossi and Hinchcliffe Score Podium Results in Toronto
Thanks in large part to an early pit-stop call from his Andretti Autosport team, Honda driver Alexander Rossi took succeeded in finishing second at the Honda Indy Toronto on Sunday. Fellow Honda driver and Toronto native James Hinchcliffe also recorded a popular Verizon IndyCar Series podium finish, taking third in front of an enthusiastic crowd cheering on the hometown hero at Exhibition Place temporary street circuit.
Rossi and Hinchcliffe, like eventual winner Josef Newgarden, made their first scheduled pit stops during Laps 20-22 of the 85-lap race. As a result, they were able to cycle to the front of the field after a crash from Tony Kanaan brought out a full-course caution on Lap 22.
“We were struggling at the start of the weekend, really at the bottom of the barrel,” said Rossi, who started eighth but finished in second place. “We were really lost. We were the slowest of Andretti Autosport cars. We did a lot of soul-searching Friday night. We really analyzed everything we could, and made some pretty solid changes overnight that suited me really well the rest of the weekend.
“Today, again we made a pretty big step forward. It’s a huge relief to finally get a podium and get it off our back. Something we’ve been close to, and searching for, a long time, and it hasn’t happened. Finally, we made the right calls [today] and made it. I’m thankful to the team for that opportunity. Now I hope to go on to Mid-Ohio and get a win.”
Hinchcliffe’s third-place finish was a repeat of his Toronto result from 2016, and represents his 13th career IndyCar podium.
“This result is so great for the team,” said Hinchcliffe, who started sixth and finished third. “We really struggled on the reds [Firestone alternate tires], and the yellow [flag] just came at the right time. But we had the pace at the end there. We were catching Alexander [Rossi] and Josef [Newgarden] in that last stint. The car really came alive on the blacks [primary tires], so big thanks to Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, all the Arrow Electronics guys—great stops—and all the fans in Toronto.
“The support we feel each and every year is amazing. You guys are the best! You came even when the weather wasn’t looking awesome, and hung out with us and we appreciate it. So thanks to all of you guys. Next year, maybe [we’ll finish] a couple of spots better.”