TORONTO (AP) — IndyCar ran two races in Toronto on Sunday, where rain wreaked havoc on both the schedule and driver strategy.
The series had planned to run one race Saturday and one on Sunday until rain washed out the first event.
It instead began Sunday morning, roughly five hours before the start of the second race, and won by Sebastien Bourdais. He broke a 52-race losing streak dating to 2007 in claiming a dominating win on the dry street course at Exhibition Place.
But the rain returned for the second race, and IndyCar officials moved the start up 10 minutes in an attempt to run as much as possible in dry conditions. The sky eventually did open, the track became slick and drivers darted to pit road for rain tires.
When the track began to dry, Mike Conway gambled and made an early stop to remove his rain tires. A caution minutes later sent the bulk of the field to pit road to change their tires, and Conway shot up the leaderboard.
Conway was fifth on the restart, but his dry tires were far superior to the drivers still racing on rain tires, and he quickly moved through the field and into the lead. The race, which had been scheduled to run 65 laps or 80 minutes, whichever came first, then became a timed race.
A multicar accident stopped the clock for a cleanup with 4 minutes, 32 seconds remaining, and set up one final restart. Conway pulled away on the restart and easily held off Tony Kanaan.
It was the second win of the season for Conway, who walked away from IndyCar at the end of 2012 season because he no longer wanted to race on ovals. He was hired this year to split the seat with driver/owner Ed Carpenter, who was willing to give up his car on road and street courses.
Ed Carpenter Racing has three victories this season, including Conway’s win at Texas. But the car owner credited the driver for making the call to come in for dry tires.
Kanaan, third in the first race of the day, was the only IndyCar driver to finish on the podium in both events.
Will Power finished third as Chevrolet swept the podium in both races. Bourdais led points leader Helio Castroneves and Kanaan in the first race.
Bourdais, who scored his first win since returning to the U.S. in 2011, was ninth in the second race.