The lack of visibility caused Saturday’s opening Honda Indy Toronto to be postponed to Sunday, where the first-ever street race doubleheader will be attempted.
After a couple of aborted tries to start the race and a day-long stready drizzle, IndyCar officials pulled the plug at 6:10 p.m.
Sunday’s schedule will call for a pair of 75-lap races, one starting at 10:30 a.m. and the other at 4:15 p.m. The opener will line up in Saturday’s original qualifying order while the nightcap will line up based on entrant points coming into Toronto.
“We wanted to race today and we tried but the conditions were just too bad,” said competition director Derrick Walker. “I don’t think we did the wrong thing because we were thinking of our drivers.”
Drivers complained about the spray going down the Lakeshore Blvd.
“I couldn’t see the nose on my car,” said Marco Andretti, scheduled to start last in the 23-car field. “It wasn’t standing water or anything like that,” said Graham Rahal, “just impossible to see.”
Three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves said: “There’s a difference between bravery and stupity and IndyCar did the right thing.”
But rookie Mikhail Aleshin had a different take. “This isn’t even rain where I come from,” said the Russian rookie. “It’s just a little drizzle and all we had to do was run a couple of laps and things would have cleared up back there (on Shoreline).”
After several slow laps behind the pace car, the race was red-flagged and then the cars were sent back out. As the lights on the pace car were turned off and the field came around the last corner to take the green, Will Power spun and clouted the pit straight wall.
The race never technically started and Power’s crew repaired his damaged left-side suspension in less than 30 minutes during the red flag. So the man seeking his initial IndyCar title and standing second in the points was restored to the back of the grid. But since the race was postponed and never officially took the green flag, Power will now get to start second.
“Huge break after I made a big mistake,” said Power. “I feel very lucky.”