EDMONTON, Alberta, Canada (July 22, 2011) - Mother Nature prevented Team Penske and the rest of the IZOD IndyCar Series teams from getting their first crack at the new Edmonton Indy street circuit on Friday.
Persistent rain throughout the day prevented any track activity at the newly-designed 2.25-mile City Centre Airport circuit as Team Penske drivers Helio Castroneves, Ryan Briscoe and Will Power spent most of the day meeting with their engineers and interacting with the dedicated and soaking wet fans that braved the elements.
"It's too bad that we weren't able to run today," said Helio Castroneves, who will drive the No. 3 Penske Truck Rental Dallara/Honda this weekend. "We were really looking forward to getting out on track and getting a feel for the new layout of the circuit. I feel bad for the fans that came out today too, They stood around all day in the wet and, unfortunately, didn't get to see us run. I am looking forward to tomorrow so I can get behind the wheel of the Penske Truck Rental car and turn some laps."
Race officials cancelled all track activity at about 3 pm MT (local) on Friday.
"Well, today was a bit of disappointment for the fans; a lot of them showed up and they didn't get to see any on track activity, which is unfortunate," said Verizon Team Penske's Will Power, who won at Edmonton in 2009 and finished second on the old course layout last season. "The weather looks good for the race on Sunday, which is the main thing. I would have loved to got out on track today in the Verizon car, but we will just have to wait ‘til tomorrow. This puts a lot more importance on practice Saturday morning and making sure we're efficient in what we do as soon as we can get out there on the new circuit."
Rain continues to be in the forecast for Saturday but the conditions will hopefully be dry for qualifying. Team Penske will have two practice sessions on Saturday - at 11:40 am ET and again at 1:25 pm ET - before qualifying for Sunday's Edmonton Indy is slated to begin at 5:30 pm ET. Team Penske will be seeking its fourth consecutive pole position at Edmonton.
"It was great to see so many fans here today, it is amazing how these Edmonton fans show up rain or shine," said Ryan Briscoe, driver of the no. 6 Penske Truck Rental car. "Today ended up being kind of slow for us since we didn't get to run, I think the highlight of my day was signing a blow-up kangaroo for a little girl named Lauren. It was really unfortunate that we didn't get to run - after the track walk yesterday I was really looking forward to getting my Penske Truck Rental car out on the circuit. They have done an awesome job of making a circuit that should make for some great racing. Hopefully we can get out there tomorrow, have a chance to practice and then go qualifying."
Sunday's 90-lap race will get underway at 2:45 pm ET and will be seen live on Versus.