Dixon on the lap that bought away…or did it?
Scott Dixon was left pondering how the final lap that wasn’t might have received him pole — and the way shut he got here to being penalized again to sixth — on the dramatic finish to the Quick 6 qualifying session for the Honda Indy Toronto
“Yeah, that was the pole lap proper there, man,” Dixon joked when requested concerning the spin in the beginning of what would have been his last lap, moments earlier than Simon Pagenaud pushed him out of the highest spot. “I’d solely accomplished two corners, so I do not know…
“It’s been an fascinating day. The final two observe periods, P2 and P3, have been actually powerful simply to get observe area, and even this morning we didn’t get one single run with a transparent lap, and it’s actually laborious to really feel what the automotive wants when you may’t get these rolling laps collectively.
“I believe the lap that bought us second, I used to be up a few tenth and a half into the final nook and simply hit the curb just a little laborious and slid the rear rather a lot.”
The timing of the spin was truly constructive although, because the clear observe precluded the necessity for a warning, which might have price Dixon his quickest lap.
“Yeah, it’s all about timing, proper? We had been fortunate to be the final automotive,” he famous. “That’s sort of how we had spaced it out and timed it. We knew we had a few four-second, five-second window earlier than we began that run, together with the out lap.
“Fortunately we had been in some fairly clear air there behind, as effectively, that the following automotive was truly going to need to pit. So yeah, tremendous fortunate. It might have been sixth as an alternative of second…”
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The reigning Toronto — and collection — champ added that the power this weekend of Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Felix Rosenqvist has additionally been a lift for him.
“Yeah, I believe each the PNC automotive and likewise the NTT (automotive) with Felix have been actually robust. Really I believe the vehicles had been equivalent going into qualifying, so it’s been very nice to have a variety of similarities. It’s positively helped all through the weekend after we haven’t been in a position to run as a lot as doable or get clear laps. We’ve nonetheless been in a position to go off of his tempo and among the issues that he’s actually favored. That’s been useful.
Dixon stated that the ever-challenging Toronto road course is throwing a collection of latest challenges on the drivers this 12 months.
“I believe it (the largest bother spot) at all times was Flip 1, however as soon as they resurfaced the method there, it’s been just a little bit higher. I’ve seen a good few vehicles go straight forward in Flip 1. It looks as if Flip 11 has been fairly difficult, particularly the primary session yesterday. We’ve seen some vehicles, particularly within the races, too, which have had some points — a pair have spun in (Flip) 10, as effectively, the place I spun.
“(Flip) Eight is at all times difficult, as effectively. It’s a variety of floor change there, and that tire wall stands out fairly far, in order quickly as you get it fallacious, it could catch you fairly good. So yeah, I’d say (Turns) 1 (and) three within the race with site visitors, (Flip) 5, you hit that curb fallacious, you may go straight forward there. (Turns) 8, 9, 11, there’s a variety of corners, and every lap you recognize you may barely simply get fallacious and also you’ll be within the fence.”
Toronto additionally is often one of the crucial difficult concerning gas technique, and whereas Dixon feels engine improvement has supplied extra choices fuel-wise, that’s offset by the query marks surrounding tire put on.
“The gas window is rather a lot greater than what it was. It was fairly powerful to do it in two, however I believe with the producers making such giant enhancements within the effectivity of the engines, it’s fairly straightforward,” he stated. “You will have pretty huge home windows now to have the ability to do it in two.
“The laborious half is how lengthy you run on the reds (choice tires). This is similar tire as what we had at Detroit. You recognize, I believe it was Lap four or 5 we noticed a warning in Detroit and the entire discipline pit apart from us and possibly one different.
“I believe it’s extra not a lot about gas racing now, it’s about tire longevity. Plus it makes it fairly fascinating, too, as a result of if you happen to get vehicles off-strategy, the pace distinction is fairly huge. However I believe the tire that Firestone introduced right here and to Detroit is rather more suited to right here.”
One other complexity of the Toronto circuit actually is its curved pit lane. Dixon stated it could present a big problem, particularly in a full-course yellow state of affairs.
“Yeah, it’s positively not supreme. It’s laborious to truly get into the pit and cease after which additionally to go away. In the event you’re on a left-turning one (pit stall), which is sort of like the primary six or eight, it makes it rather a lot higher. You’ll be able to’t do something about it. So I believe you simply hope that we keep forward of possibly the automotive that’s within the field behind us; possibly hopefully they can provide us area.
“I believe you probably have a green-flag race it’s not an excessive amount of of a difficulty as a result of you may sort of pit in your individual time, whereas if it’s a full-course yellow, that’s when it’s going to get actually difficult, particularly with how tight they’re right here. However yeah, this pit highway might be one of many worst that we come to all season so far as spacing and the curvature of it.”