Find out more about our subscriptions

Houston IndyCar: Takuma Sato secures pole for AJ Foyt Racing

Sato secures Houston pole for FoytTakuma Sato gave AJ Foyt Racing a hometown pole position for the first of this weekend's two IndyCar races on the streets of Houston.

Delays caused by track problems early in the weekend forced the qualifying format to be changed, with the standard 'fast six' procedure being replaced by a 30-minute session split across two randomly-determined groups.

Sato was in the second group, and capitalised on a combination of a good lap and the benefit of a session run entirely under greens to deliver his 1m00.4535s pole time.

"It feels pretty good," said Sato. "It's a new circuit and lots going on with different configurations of he tack but the boys did a good job and we put everything together. It's a good day."

Ganassi driver Scott Dixon came closest to matching him, the Kiwi falling just over 0.1s short on his final flying lap, leaving Simon Pagenaud third fastest from the group.

The time they had to beat was the 1m01.1524s laid down by Will Power earlier on, but that was a relatively soft target.

An accident at Turn 10 from Tristan Vautier in the opening minutes of the session left the first group with just five minutes of green flag time, and Power later admitted that his fastest lap had been on the harder black tyres.

The Australian will start on the outside of the front row.

The incident had even greater ramifications for championship leader Helio Castroneves, who will start from near the back of the field after finishing up 11th in the first group.

Pos  Driver               Team/Engine      Time
 1.  Takuma Sato          Foyt/Honda       1m00.4535s  Group 2
 2.  Will Power           Penske/Chevy     1m01.1524s  Group 1
 3.  Scott Dixon          Ganassi/Honda    1m00.6057s  Group 2
 4.  Sebastien Bourdais   Dragon/Chevy     1m01.4911s  Group 1
 5.  Simon Pagenaud       Schmidt/Honda    1m00.6184s  Group 2
 6.  Simona de Silvestro  KV/Chevy         1m01.5527s  Group 1
 7.  James Hinchcliffe    Andretti/Chevy   1m01.2123s  Group 2
 8.  Luca Filippi         Herta/Honda      1m01.6520s  Group 1
 9.  EJ Viso              Andretti/Chevy   1m01.3274s  Group 2
10.  Dario Franchitti     Ganassi/Honda    1m01.7201s  Group 1
11.  James Jakes          Rahal/Honda      1m01.3678s  Group 2
12.  Marco Andretti       Andretti/Chevy   1m01.7907s  Group 1
13.  Mike Conway          Coyne/Honda      1m01.5154s  Group 2
14.  Justin Wilson        Coyne/Honda      1m01.8065s  Group 1
15.  Tony Kanaan          KV/Chevy         1m01.5409s  Group 2
16.  Ryan Hunter-Reay     Andretti/Chevy   1m01.8305s  Group 1
17.  Charlie Kimball      Ganassi/Honda    1m01.6329s  Group 2
18.  Oriol Servia         Panther/Chevy    1m01.9043s  Group 1
19.  Graham Rahal         Rahal/Honda      1m02.0140s  Group 2
20.  Josef Newgarden      Fisher/Honda     1m02.1588s  Group 1
21.  Sebastian Saavedra   Dragon/Chevy     1m02.1175s  Group 2
22.  Helio Castroneves    Penske/Chevy     1m02.2823s  Group 1
23.  Ed Carpenter         Carpenter/Chevy  1m03.5193s  Group 2
24.  Tristan Vautier      Schmidt/Honda                Group 1

All drivers use Dallara DW12 chassis
  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed
Franchitti undergoes ankle surgery
Franchitti suffers back, ankle fractures
Power wins, Franchitti in big crash
Castroneves given pole after all
Dixon on pole as qualifying called off
Dixon win transforms title battle
Drivers welcome Houston changes
Wilson fastest in Houston practice
IndyCar adds chicane, alters schedule