TORONTO, Ontario (July 8, 2012) – In a race that was a true test of survival, the final laps determined everything in Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto. After starting in 24th position, James Jakes propelled his No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda through the field to a career-high eighth place finish.
Due to an unscheduled engine change, Jakes was subject to a 10 grid spot reduction from his original qualifying position. From the moment the green flag dropped, Jakes began climbing back through the field, cracking into the top-ten on Lap 22 and continually running in the top 15 throughout the race. With just three laps to go, the No. 7 car of Sebastien Bourdais hit the wall, and James Jakes secured eighth place just before a series of multi-car incidents forced the final laps to be run under caution. In a contest full of high contact, Jakes ran a clean race to become one of only 12 cars to complete all 85 laps, finishing eighth on the lead lap amongst the 19 cars still running at the end of the race. He also gained 16 positions throughout the course of the race, which was the most of any of the 25 entrants.
“Thanks to all the guys,” said Jakes, “Obviously for staying here late last night and working hard for the engine change, and thanks to Honda as well for giving us a fresh one. Hopefully we can get qualifying sorted for the next time at Edmonton so we can battle to be in the top three. We had a good car at the end of the race and we managed to pick quite a few guys off. A lot of people were saving fuel there so that was good because we were good to go ‘til the end. Very happy with today, so thanks again to everyone.”
Justin Wilson, driver of the No. 18 Sonny’s Bar-B-Q Honda, had a weekend with both highs and lows. He recovered from a pit incident and two minor contacts with the wall on Friday by qualifying into third position on Saturday, narrowly missing the pole.
Before even the first lap of the race was completed on Sunday, Wilson passed Will Power in Turn 3 to move into second position. He continually held positions in the top-five for the majority of the race until a mechanical failure causing power fluctuation took Wilson out of the race on Lap 67.
“The Sonny’s Bar-B-Q Honda was pretty good out there and we were having a good race. In that last stint I was just battling away to get on the podium and I thought we had a good shot at that. About half way round that last lap I started to lose power, but it was intermittent, so it would just die and accelerate, die and accelerate. Eventually I got to Turn 11 and it died as I entered. As I got to the apex suddenly it gave me full power back. It spun the wheels, the rear came out and clipped the wall and bent the suspension. So I’m very disappointed, but we’ll learn from it. We’ve got a quick race car, so bring on the next race.”
In two weeks, the IZOD IndyCar Series heads to Edmonton for the Edmonton Indy. The race can be seen live on NBC Sports Network starting at 2:45 p.m. (EDT) on Sunday, July 22.
Dale Coyne Racing
Chris Gallas, Director of Public Relations