Nelson Piquet Jr. expected better results in the Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Toronto Powered by Mazda doubleheader in Toronto, but the new Dallara IL15 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires car met his expectations.
Piquet made his series debut for Carlin in filling in for Max Chilton, who was competing for Nissan in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He earned the pole position for Race 1 and led the initial 13 laps before contact by another car ruined his challenge for a victory. Piquet started fourth in Race 2, but again contact by another car in wet conditions on the 1.755-mile, 11-turn Exhibition Place street circuit ended his day.
“It was a good experience for me to be back in a powerful car. Conditions were very difficult but I enjoyed the challenge,” said Piquet, of Brazil. “The car was good in both races; we had a good chance of winning both of them. It’s just bad luck the way it ended, but at least we showed good potential. If I had another chance I’d do it again for sure.”
Piquet is leading the FIA Formula E Championship with five podiums, including two wins, heading into the June 27-28 doubleheader season finale in London. He is also racing in the Global RallyCross Championship, and scored a podium in the season opener.
“The more you drive different cars, the more experience you have, the quicker you start getting used to it,” he said. “I thought this was a great opportunity for me to prepare for the Formula E races in a couple of weeks. Just for my reflexes and for my body to be used to driving on street tracks and bumpy places is good practice for me even though this is a much quicker car.”
Earlier this week, NEXTEV TCR announced that it had signed Piquet to a multi-year contract to continue in the single-seat electric car series.
Also, Simona de Silvestro, who has competed in three Verizon IndyCar Series races this season with Andretti Autosport, will make her Formula E debut with the team in London. Justin Wilson drove the car in the June 6 race in Moscow. Jean Eric Vergne will drive the other Andretti Autosport entry.
More than $73,000 was raised for Make-A-Wish Canada over the Honda Indy Toronto race weekend. In lieu of an admission fee on Fan Friday, spectators were encouraged to make a contribution to Make-A-Wish Canada. Contributions were matched dollar-for-dollar by Honda Canada. … Walt Disney World Speedway will be demolished for an expansion of the Magic Kingdom parking lot. ... The Lefty’s 5K, with a course than includes the Auto Club Speedway oval and road circuit, will kick off MAVTV 500 race day June 27. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Lefty’s Reading Challenge and other youth-oriented projects in San Bernardino County. For more information or to register, visit www.autoclubspeedway.com/Leftys5K.