Toronto, ON (July 17, 2016) – Dale Coyne Racing’s day at the Honda Indy Toronto was off to a good start in the early stages of the race but things took a turn at the halfway mark and Luca Filippi and Conor Daly had to settle with 14th and 15th place finishes, respectively, despite the team’s excellent effort.
Daly, who was starting a career best seventh, led a lap early on before making his first pit stop of the day. While things went well on the stop itself, the tight quarters in pit lane meant that Daly lost time coming in, trying to avoid the crew guys in the pit stall behind his and then had to wait to exit his pit box when the car ahead of him was entering his, causing him to lose track position.
That wouldn’t be the end of his woes, unfortunately. Daly’s team decided to use an alternate pit stop strategy to get him back to front of the field but an undesired full course caution came out and ruined what could have been. Despite struggling while trying to defend his position and overtake others, Daly salvaged a 15th place result, as highest finishing rookie, after dropping as low as 20th.
Filippi was also having a good first stint running in the top 10, after starting 11th. The Italian seemed to be on his way to a good result but an untimely yellow with about 25 laps to go cost him and the team the desired finish.
The driver of the #19 IMPCO / ComfortPro car did go on to gain a few positions in the final five laps to cross the finish line in 14th.
Next up for the Dale Coyne Racing team will be a test day at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on July 21, which will be followed by the race, the Honda Indy 200, the following week.
What they have to say:
Conor Daly – #18 Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality
“It was a really weird race. It was really, really tough to defend from anyone, even though overall we were quicker. We were good into Turn 1 and I’d get runs but I couldn’t defend myself and I couldn’t pass even with overtake. We have to look into that. Other than that, a lot of contact, beating and banging. Some pretty unfair driving every now and then but it is what it is. It’s just a shame that it worked out that way. I made one big mistake on the restart that really kind of put us out of contention but I have no idea why that happened. I’ve never experienced the cold tire grip that the blacks had in my life so it was really weird.
“Then there’s pit lane. It’s a disaster. There’s nothing that we could’ve done. We came in the way we came in and I had to avoid James’ guys, I had no room to get out and we couldn’t leave, so that again inpacted our race and it’s something out of our control.”
Luca Filippi – #19 IMPCO Technologies / ComfortPro
“The race went the opposite way than we wanted. We started on black Firestones and tried to survive in our position, which we did as we were running 10th. Everything was good up until then, but we lost a couple of positions after our stop and I couldn’t make those Reds work for us at that point. But it was still decent and we had the potential to finish in the Top 10, easily. However, a yellow came out at the wrong time and it killed our race. It’s a shame. I wish we had more luck to be able to show our pace. It would have been nice to put some laps together and get up front.”