Bourdais leads the way in opening Toronto practice

Sebastien Bourdais - Credit: Chris Jones / IndyCar

Sebastien Bourdais set the pace in the opening practice session of the weekend around the streets of Toronto, the Verizon IndyCar Series’ annual visit north of the border into Canada.

The Frenchman took his KVSH Racing Dallara-Chevrolet around the 1.786-mile temporary street circuit in a time of 1:02.9290, as drivers up and down the field struggled with low grip levels.

Bourdais ended the session 0.0448 seconds ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon, with the reigning series champion the only other driver to dip below the 1:03 mark, while current championship leader Simon Pagenaud was third in the best of the Team Penske entries.

Takuma Sato was the best placed of the Honda-powered drivers in fourth for AJ Foyt Racing, ahead of Graham Rahal of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, while Will Power was the second of the Penske drivers in sixth ahead of Tony Kanaan of Ganassi.

Ryan Hunter-Reay was the only Andretti Autosport driver inside the top ten in eighth, with Penske’s Helio Castroneves and Schmidt Peterson Motorsport’s Mikhail Aleshin completing the top ten.

The circuit layout has seen minor changes in 2016, with the pit lane switching from the south side of the start and finish straight to the north side, with the circuit length increasing slightly as a result, with the final few corners of the Toronto track being slightly tighter than before.

Toronto Free Practice 1 Result

111Sebastien BourdaisFRAKVSH Racing1:02.9290
29Scott DixonNZLChip Ganassi Racing1:02.9738
322Simon PagenaudFRATeam Penske1:03.1246
414Takuma SatoJAPAJ Foyt Enterprises1:03.1925
515Graham RahalUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing1:03.2636
612Will PowerAUSTeam Penske1:03.3209
710Tony KanaanBRZChip Ganassi Racing1:03.3478
828Ryan Hunter-ReayUSAAndretti Autosport1:03.3984
93Helio CastronevesBRZTeam Penske1:03.4914
107Mikhail AleshinRUSSchmidt Peterson Motorsports1:03.5185
1198Alexander RossiUSAAndretti Herta Autosport1:03.5561
1227Marco AndrettiUSAAndretti Autosport1:03.6457
132Juan Pablo MontoyaCOLTeam Penske1:03.6857
1483Charlie KimballUSAChip Ganassi Racing1:03.7201
1521Josef NewgardenUSAEd Carpenter Racing1:03.7352
1620Spencer PigotUSAEd Carpenter Racing1:03.9273
1726Carlos MunozCOLAndretti Autosport1:03.9326
1819Luca FilippiITADale Coyne Racing1:03.9752
195James HinchcliffeCANSchmidt Peterson Motorsports1:04.0107
2018Conor DalyUSADale Coyne Racing1:04.2006
2141Jack HawksworthGBRAJ Foyt Enterprises1:04.2346
228Max ChiltonGBRChip Ganassi Racing1:05.5153