IndyCar institutes standing start for Sunday, some drivers disagree

Robert Laberge

After Saturday's standing start attempt was aborted, IndyCar has mandated that the Series try again on Sunday.

After Saturday's planned standing start was aborted, IndyCar Series officials have announced that a standing start will be instead implemented for the Honda Indy Toronto Race No. 2 on Sunday afternoon.

The Series was set to debut a standing start for the first time in post-merger history on Saturday when the format was called off just moments before the lights went out due to the stalled car of Josef Newgarden.

Fan reaction was sour once the start was called off and loud booing could be heard on the NBC Sports Network broadcast of the event. With so much hype and anticipation placed around the standing start, using it for the Sunday race became the obvious decision for IndyCar officials.

"The fans deserve to see a standing start, so after consultation with the promoter, we have made the decision to implement a standing start for Sunday's race," said Brian Barnhart, senior vice president of operations, IndyCar.

Several drivers expressed relief that the standing start didn't go off as planned, including Sebastien Bourdais and Dario Franchitti. They hoped that IndyCar wouldn't mandate another attempt for Sunday for reasons both mechanical and practical.

We didn't get any practice really," Bourdais said. "Personally, I don't understand why you have it for just one race. If you don't have it for race one, you don't need it for race two. We should have much more opportunities to practice this.

"I was a little shaky on the grid and once I saw the yellow flag waving, I was like, ‘Yes, thank you.'"

Franchitti nodded in agreement but Marco Andretti said he could go either way on the decision.

"I'm not against what we did today," Andretti said. "If the fans really like it, I'm not against it."

When told that IndyCar was considering moving the standing start attempt to Sunday, Bourdais retorted that, "they are probably going to do it anyway -- it doesn't matter what we think."

The standing start will follow the same procedures that were used in Race #1. The race is set to begin shortly after 3 p.m. ET on Sunday and will be televised by the NBC Sports Network.

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