Wilson calls Toronto Indy 'embarrassing'

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing driver Justin Wilson of England carries his helmet while walking down the...

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing driver Justin Wilson of England carries his helmet while walking down the pit lane to his pit prior to practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis May 19, 2011. (REUTERS/Brent Smith)

DEAN MCNULTY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:30 PM ET

IZOD IndyCar driver Justin Wilson — a former winner at both Toronto and Edmonton IndyCar races — has lashed out at fellow drivers for their behaviour at Toronto.

And he hopes the carnage that was on display at the Exhibition Place circuit does not continue this week at the Edmonton City Airport venue.

Wilson, in an interview with an Indianapolis sports radio show, knocked both the track in Toronto and the “bad decisions” made by drivers.

“It was pretty embarrassing,” he said. “It was kind of the perfect storm. Toronto encourages that sort of driving. You’ve got the concrete patches where there’s no grip so people get over-committed before they even realize it, and we had the side-by-side restarts. But ultimately it all came down to people making really bad decisions and poor race craft.”

Wilson, driver of the No. 22 Dreyer & Reinbold Dallara, said IndyCar officials are so concerned about blocking during the race that it forces drivers to take big risks to make passes.

He said the Edmonton airport track with two hairpin corners will likely see the same kind of dive bomb passing attempts that caused so many crashes in Turn 3 at the end of Lake Shore Blvd., in Toronto.

Wilson said he knows the reason these crashes are happening more and more frequently.

“I think a lot of this stems from the fact that we don’t allow blocking now,” he said. “We don’t allow defending either. The guy in the lead is forced to stick around on the outside, leave the door wide open and there’s a miscommunication because the guy behind thinks ‘Oh, I’ve got this, he’s leaving the door open, I’m going to take it.’ The guy in front is not planning that at all, he’s going for the optimum racing line.”

That, in fact, was Dario Franchitti’s explanation for his bump of Will Power that resulted in controversy at the Honda Indy.

Wilson thinks that a definitive rule needs to be put in place so that racers will know what is allowed and what isn’t when it comes to passing on road and street courses.

“It’s a mess and it needs sorting out,” he said. “Whether that’s with some kind of definition of when the car behind deserves a lane, and when it doesn’t, and I think that’s something that needs to be addressed.”

FINISH LINES

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dean.mcnulty@sunmedia.ca


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