Indy 500 winner Pagenaud grabs fastest time in final Honda Indy practice
French driver Simon Pagenaud takes part in a practice season ahead of qualifying at the Honda Indy in Toronto, on Saturday, July 13, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Lahodynskyj)
The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, July 13, 2019 12:20PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, July 13, 2019 2:13PM EDT
TORONTO -- Simon Pagenaud had the fastest lap on Saturday morning in the final practice session at the Honda Indy Toronto.
Pagenaud, the winner of the Indianapolis 500 in May, clocked a time of 59.3651 seconds in the morning practice on the 2.89-kilometre, 11-turn street course around Exhibition Place.
The Frenchman's time was slightly better than his fastest practice lap Friday afternoon, when he led the field at 59.8708.
Qualifying for Sunday's race was scheduled for Saturday afternoon.
A scuffle broke out between an enraged Takuma Sato and Sebastien Bourdais after the Frenchman passed him on the last lap of the morning session. Video showed Sato confronting Bourdais in his pit box, and grabbing him by the collar. The Frenchman shoved Sato away before punches were thrown. The drivers were quickly separated.
Rookie Felix Rosenqvist of Sweden was second in the morning practice in 59.4353 while Ryan Hunter-Reay was third in 59.5277.
A pair of IndyCar Series rookies, Santino Ferrucci and Colton Herta, had the fourth and fifth best practice times, respectively.
"To end up where we are, I've been very confident in the car and really comfortable," the 21-year-old Ferrucci told a TV sideline reporter after his practice session. "And driving around this place is really awesome."
James Hinchcliffe of Oakville, Ont., who's never won in Toronto, was ninth -- an improvement from his 11th-place mark in Friday's practice.
New Zealand's Scott Dixon, who won the Toronto race in 2018, was 15th. Pagenaud finished second in Toronto last year.