Niagara Gazette


July 13, 2013

Controversy marks first day of IndyCar in Toronto


Niagara Gazette — Things got hairy right at the start of Saturday's race, which was supposed to be the IndyCar debut of standings starts. But race control aborted the procedure when Josef Newgarden's car stalled on the track and the drivers couldn't line up in the proper formation.

The drivers were pulled off the grid and brought back around the track for the traditional rolling start as the crowd howled its displeasure in being denied the highly anticipated standing start.

IndyCar wasn't scheduled to try a standing start on Sunday to the delight of most of the drivers who feel they haven't had enough practice to execute it correctly. But Marco Andretti said IndyCar should reconsider after Saturday's failure.

"It matters what the fans want at this point, I think," he said.

IndyCar announced after the Franchitti appeal that it will attempt a standing start on Sunday. It's wasn't high on the list of things to do for the drivers.

"I could take it or leave it," Dixon said. "I have a feeling if they do do it, it may result in the same thing that happened today."

Following the aborted start were warnings from race control to several drivers about jumping over the curbs. Told they had to keep two tires on the track at all times early in the race, race control later reversed the decision and said drivers could jump the curbs.

As the race continued, Tristan Vautier was penalized for avoidable contact with Graham Rahal, and Justin Wilson was penalized for his role in an accident with Charlie Kimball and Ryan Briscoe, who hurt his hand and went to a local hospital after the race for precautionary X-rays.

Dixon emphatically believed Bourdais jumped the restart with 16 laps remaining and demanded a penalty be called on Bourdais over his radio. No penalty was called and Bourdais believed he did nothing wrong, hitting the gas when team owner Jay Penske told him the flag was green.

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