Simon Pagenaud successfully avoided the Turn 11 wall to post the fastest time in Friday practice for the Toronto Grand Prix.
The winner of Sunday’s Honda Grand Prix of Toronto IndyCar Series race will have to survive Turn 11 … 85 times.
On Friday, during practice for the annual race on the Streets of Toronto, nearly a quarter of the field struggled to keep off the Turn 11 wall in conditions that were trickier than previous years thanks to the addition of an epoxy sealer laid down on the final corner.
Several drivers slid off the section and into the outside retaining wall during the course of two one-hour practice sessions.
Will Power and Takuma Sato spun there during the opening minutes of the first practice session. Josef Newgarden then spun and slapped the wall. Takuma Sato did it again. Then Alexander Rossi clipped it during the middle stages of the second session.
Rossi also hit the Turn 9 wall in the closing minutes of the session.
The 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner said track conditions were indeed trickier but drivers need to often cross the line to know where they are in the first place.
That’s what practice is for.
“You don’t want to make these mistakes on Saturday or Sunday, so you can get a little bit more adventurous with your lines and experimentation to see if something works, and obviously I found a few things that didn’t work,” Rossi said. “Hopefully we don’t find any more.”
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