Two Canadian drivers are competing in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series and both made it into the top ten in qualifying for the 2012 Honda Indy Toronto.
While most of the attention was focused on local boy, James Hinchcliffe, it was Montreal native, Alex Tagliani who claimed the higher qualifying spot of the two.
Both drivers made it into the second round of qualifying (the top 12 in the first session). Tagliani was fifth-fastest, moving him on to the Firestone Fast Six shoorout for the top six qualifying spots. Hinchcliffe qualified ninth.
Tagliani topped the charts for a while in the final session, ultimately qualifying in sixth spot, just two-tenths of a second behind the ultimate pole-sitter, Dario Franchitti.
Franchitti's average speed was 171.3 km/h around the 1.824-km, 11-turn circuit circuit.
Series points leader, Will Power qualified second, ahead of Justin Wilson, Sebastian Bourdais , Scott Dixon and Tagliani. The top four qualifier are all past winners of the Toronto Race.
The top ten qualifiers are equally divided in terms of powerlants. Chevrolet and Honda engines each power five of the top ten cars, demonstrating the relative engine parity between those two engine providers.
The sole Lotus engine in the 25-car field, in the car driven by Simona de Silvestro, qualified 21st.
Despite their good qualifying positions, Tagliani and Hinchcliffe will start the race in 16th and 19th positions respectively. Both have been penalized ten grid positions because of unauthorized engine changes after the last race.
IndyCar's rules specify a minimum period of operation for each engine and if a change is required before that period is up, a ten-position penalty is imposed for the start of the next race.