By: Ashley McCubbin
TORONTO, Ontario — On Friday when the first practice was complete, Jimmie Johnson’s best lap time was one minute and three seconds, with a difference of 0.3364 seconds to Alexander Rossi who led the session. Flash forward to a couple sessions later, he has improved to a minute and a second, just 0.1596 seconds off of Rinus Veekay who led Sunday’s morning warm-up.
“I feel each lap I’m making is helping me learn this track as I’ve never been here before,” he told NEWS FROM THE PITS. “The first lap I made was on Thursday in a rental car so every lap counts and I feel each lap I keep taking delta out compared to the leaders.”
It has not all been sunshine and roses through the learning experience, as he spun the car around in turn eight during the initial practice session. Fortunately, he kept it out of the tire barrier, resulting in no damage to the nose of the No. 48 Cortana entry.
“(Turn) 8 is probably the trickiest one on the track,” he noted. “The bumps get larger as you get closer to 10, that’s where you’re putting the load in the car and you need the grip, and it caught me out in one of the practice sessions. Didn’t hit too hard which was nice, but it’s a really sketchy corner.”
Now prepared for the 85 lap race on Sunday afternoon, Johnson notes improving the lap time will come from finding the aggression level required to be fast in an IndyCar.
“I feel I’ve been aggressive as I’ve been in a vehicle and I’m under potential of this car,” he commented. “It’s just about gaining that confidence and driving as hard as I can.”
Johnson will take the green flag for the Honda Indy Toronto from the 21st position.