IndyCar: Toronto ‘hot and not’ list

The drivers and teams that impressed and embarrassed at the Honda Indy Toronto.

Hot

Exhibition Place – a brilliant circuit that continues to offer up superb racing. The opening section of 4 corners plus Lakeshore Boulevard once again provided the perfect mix for some brilliant overtaking moves.

CFH Racing – yes they took a gamble and it paid off but the newly merged team still needed to execute. Facing tricky conditions, varying strategies, stopping two youngsters with plenty to prove hitting each other were just some of the banana skins avoided. Not to mention the pressure at the end from Penske. The result was even more impressive as the team regrouped after a succession of horrible results in recent races.

Josef Newgarden – smart and quick, he took full advantage of the opportunity his team and strategy presented him with. Now the American needs to string together a series of strong results to finish the season in order to mark out 2015 as a genuine transition from promising newcomer to regular contender.

Castroneves/Penske – willingness to take the gamble which paid off with a podium finish. A great recovery drive was topped off by a great save mid-race that could have resulted in a DNF. We shouldn’t write him off in the Championship just yet

Graham Rahal – once again doing his absolute best to uphold Honda’s honour. Wet conditions looked like they might favour the Honda teams but as soon as the circuit dried up so too did their chances. Some mighty overtaking by Rahal – just too many good Chevy teams in front to mount another Barber-style fight through the field.

Conor Daly – some great moves on one of the trickiest tracks in IndyCar. It seems Ryan Briscoe will return for SPM in the final races of the season which is a real shame. A run of 4-5 races in succession could really allow him to show his potential.

Not

Montoya – after topping the time-sheets in practice and figuring for pole the Colombian seemed to be going backwards on race day. Fighting a rearguard action all afternoon Montoya never looked like seriously troubling the top 5 but… still comes away from Canada leading the point standings. And that is often the mark of a champion – winning ugly.

Andretti Autosport – just when you thought IndyCar’s ‘other’ super team could not look any more lost, they roll in to Toronto and put on another horror display. The Honda package can take a lot of the blame but as Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato demonstrated, it does not mean you are automatically prevented from racing in the top 10.

Will Power – I wrote about it in the preview but again another complicated race day results in a lost win. Power can continue to chip away at Juan Montoya’s lead this way but you sense a growing frustration from the reigning champion.

The fact we only have 6 races left in the 2015 season.

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