TEAM TARGET PREPARES FOR TORONTO
Target Chip Ganassi Racing Toronto Advance Notes
Race: Honda Indy Toronto (Sunday, July 10th at 2:00 PM ET, Versus)
Track: Streets of Toronto (1.75 mile street circuit)
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Follow TCGR on Twitter: Follow @TCGRTeams for official updates from Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
Managing Director Mike Hull on Toronto: “For the past twenty five years, Indy Cars have raced at the Honda Indy Toronto. It seems unless your name is Andretti, it’s been tough to win! However, the combo of Michael in our Target car in ’94, produced a great win. We’ve won twice more with Zanardi in ’98 & Franchitti in 2009. Racing in metropolitan downtown Toronto ranks right next to Long Beach in terms of the passionate spectators, views, history, and the all-out street race atmosphere. Dario and Scott will work to find the unique set-up necessary, while supported by a team that pushes hard to get the most from the technical and durability side for the two-hour race distance. Watch us this week on Versus.”
Street Circuit History: The IZOD IndyCar Series will be returning to a street course for the fourth time in 2011. TCGR has recorded 21 of their 83 wins (25%) on street courses with drivers Alex Zanardi (seven wins), Jimmy Vasser (three), Dario Franchitti (three), Juan Pablo Montoya (three), Scott Dixon (two), Michael Andretti (two) and Bruno Junqueira (one). TCGR has also tallied 13 poles with six different drivers on street tracks.
TCGR History at Toronto: TCGR has made 28 starts in Toronto with 14 different drivers. In those starts they have had an average starting position of 8.8 and an average finishing position of 10.2, which includes three wins (Andretti-1994, Zanardi-1998, Franchitti-2009) and one pole (Franchitti-2009). TCGR has also led 204 laps and compiled 11 top-fives and 17 top-10s on the Canadian street circuit.
Going to “Goodwood”: TCGR teammates Dixon and Franchitti attended the 2011 “Goodwood Festival of Speed” this past weekend in West Sussex, England. Established in 1993, the festival is described as “the largest motoring garden party in the world” with more than 150,000 spectators and participants at the event every year. 14 previous Indianapolis 500 Winners were in attendance, including both of the TCGR drivers. “Goodwood” is especially close to Dixon’s heart because he married his wife, Emma, at the Goodwood House in February of 2008.
Scott Dixon and the No. 9 Target Team
Follow Scott on Twitter: Follow @scottdixon9 for all the happenings and inside information on the driver of the No. 9 Indy car for Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
Toronto History: In four career starts at Toronto, Dixon has tallied three top-five and three top-10 finishes. His best start of sixth came in 2010 and his best finish of fourth was in the 2009 event at Exhibition Place. Dixon has never started a race at Toronto from outside of the top-10 and his average finish for the course is 8.5.
Podium at Iowa: Dixon began the Iowa Corn Indy 250 from 23rd, tying his worst career starting position. At the drop of the green flag, he wasted little time moving through the field, driving up to 19th by the end of lap one. Dixon had moved the No.9 Target Honda into 10th by the one-quarter mark and drove into the top-three for the first time on lap 212. After passing 20 cars throughout the race, he came home in third, marking his fifth top-five of the season.
Five-Time: With Dixon’s third-place finish at Iowa, he scored his fifth top-10 finish in a row. His best results during this stretch were runner-up finishes in both of the races at Texas Motor Speedway during the Firestone Twin 275s weekend.
In The Points: Dixon moved up one position in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings after the Iowa Corn Indy 250. He is now third in points, 73 behind leader and teammate Franchitti.
Moving Up the Ladder: With his next victory, Dixon will move into a tie with Roger Ward for 11th on the all-time Indy car wins list with 26.
Halfway Gone: The 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season is now half-over for Dixon and the No.9 Target team. After the first nine races of the season, Dixon has five top-fives, six top-10s and has completed 99.6% of the laps run this season, which gives him the third best total in the series behind Franchitti and Oriol Servia. He currently finds himself in the top-three in multiple statistical categories including top-fives, top-10s, laps completed, lead-lap finishes and number of races running at the finish.
Seven Straight: With a victory in 2011, Dixon will extend his streak of consecutive seasons with a win to seven. Dixon currently has 25 wins across 15 different tracks.
Dario Franchitti and the No. 10 Target Team
Follow Dario on Twitter: Follow @dariofranchitti for all the happenings and inside information on the driver of the No. 10 Indy car for Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
Toronto History: Franchitti, a two-time Toronto winner, will be making his ninth start this weekend at Exhibition Place. In his eight previous starts he has earned three top-fives and three top-10s to go with his two wins in 1999 and 2009. Franchitti has also led 238 laps and has an average finish of 14.0.
Starting Up Front: In Franchitti’s eight starts at Toronto, he has never qualified outside of top-10 and his worst starting position is sixth (twice). This has helped him build an average starting position of 3.7.
Top-Five at Iowa: Franchitti began the Iowa Corn Indy 250 from sixth position, but quickly moved into the lead on lap eight. The No. 10 team continued to lead until lap 157. After dropping back to second-place for a few laps, he drove back to the lead on lap 161 and held onto the top spot until being passed during yellow flag pit stops. Franchitti fought hard to stay near the front of the field and took the checkered flag in fifth.
Glass Almost Half Full: Franchitti has led 588 of the 1,233 laps completed during the 2011 season. That translates to being out front for more than 47% of the laps run so far. However, when Franchitti led his 159th lap of Saturday night’s race at Iowa (on lap 166), he had temporarily eclipsed the 50% mark and led more than half of the laps run this year (575 of 1149).
Top of the Charts: Last weekend’s event at Iowa Speedway was the 22nd time that Franchitti has entered a race as the point leader. In those 22 starts, he has three wins, 15 top-fives and 17 top-10s. His average start for these races is 4.8 and his average finish is 6.1. Franchitti has completed more than 94% of the laps scheduled in those races and led 1,001 out of the 3,786 laps run (26.44%)
In The Points: After last weekend’s fifth-place finish at Iowa Speedway, Franchitti took over the top spot in the IZOD IndyCar series point standings. He now has 303 points and holds a 20 point lead over second-place Will Power with 283 markers.
Mid-Season Review: At the halfway point of this IZOD IndyCar Series season, point leader Franchitti has tallied three victories, seven top-fives and eight top-10s. He can also add one pole and 588 laps led to his 2011 totals. Franchitti is the only driver to complete every lap that the series has run to this point and he is now leading or tied for the lead in 10 major statistical categories including number of wins, top-5s, top-10s, laps led and laps completed.
Climbing the Ranks: Franchitti is tied with Rick Mears for ninth on the all-time Indy car wins list with 29. Franchitti also sits 15th on the All-Time Starts list with 224, only six starts behind 14th-place Roger McCluskey, who has 230. He remains tied for ninth on the All-Time Career Poles list with Paul Tracy at 25 after winning the pole at Milwaukee. Franchitti earned his first pole in 1997 in Toronto.
Boston.com Blog: Stay up-to-date with Franchitti by following his blog on Boston.com. He gives fans a rare glimpse into the lifestyle of the reigning series champion. The blog runs each Tuesday following an IZOD IndyCar Series event.
Scott Dixon: “It’s a tough championship. If you have a good weekend it’s 53 points as opposed to somebody maybe making 12, so you can close the gap pretty quickly. When you have your bad weekends, if you can sort of extract the best points or the best finishing position, that’s what you need to do.”
Dario Franchitti: “Everybody is talking about points, since [Iowa] put us alone atop the IZOD IndyCar Series championship standings, but I think it’s way too early to be thinking about the points. I’m looking at it one race at a time. There's a long way to go, so it doesn’t make sense to be talking about points just yet.”