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Long Beach IndyCar: Ryan Hunter-Reay claims pole with last-gasp lap

Ryan Hunter-Reay takes Long Beach IndyCar pole 2014

Last-gasp flying laps from Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe secured an all-Andretti Autosport front row for Sunday's Long Beach IndyCar race.

With less than a minute remaining on the clock, the provisional pole was in the hands of Sebastien Bourdais, however the Frenchman had no opportunity to respond when first Hinchcliffe and then Hunter-Reay managed to go quicker.

Hunter-Reay's pole lap of 1m07.8219s represented a 0.1 second improvement on his team-mate's time; the Canadian in turn having beaten Bourdais by just 0.07s.

Josef Newgarden will start alongside Bourdais on the second row, with a stellar effort from rookie Jack Hawksworth placing the Brit fifth on the grid ahead of Simon Pagenaud.

The intensity of the competition claimed some unexpected early scalps.

During the 12-car run-off, Scott Dixon was bumped out of the Fast Six by Hawksworth, and the Kiwi was joined in his early exit by the likes of Helio Castroneves, Justin Wilson and Marco Andretti.

Even more shocking was the roll call of those who had already been eliminated by that point.

The spicy rivalry that IndyCar needs

Will Power failed to progress from Q1 for just the second time in his career, and he was joined in his misery by Mike Conway, who had been quick during the earlier phases of the weekend.

Ganassi sustained three early casualties, with Tony Kanaan, Ryan Briscoe and Charlie Kimball all being eliminated in the first stage.

Last year's race winner Takuma Sato also exited early, and his misfortune was compounded when he was docked his two fastest times for interfering with Hunter-Reay.

It was also a short afternoon for Juan Pablo Montoya, who was unable to match his early weekend pace on the harder tyres once he switched to the options.

His final flying lap was scotched when he bounced off the wall at Turn 4, but even had he kept it on the track he would have needed to find a lot of time to progress to the second round.

Follow the Long Beach IndyCar race as it happens on AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live from 9.30pm UK time on Sunday April 13

Pos Driver               Team/Engine       Time        Gap     
 1. Ryan Hunter-Reay     Andretti/Honda    1m07.8219s              
 2. James Hinchcliffe    Andretti/Honda    1m07.9403s  +0.1184s    
 3. Sebastien Bourdais   KV/Chevy          1m07.9580s  +0.1361s    
 4. Josef Newgarden      Fisher/Honda      1m08.0097s  +0.1878s    
 5. Jack Hawksworth      Herta/Honda       1m08.0525s  +0.2306s    
 6. Simon Pagenaud       Schmidt/Honda     1m08.0732s  +0.2513s    
 7. Scott Dixon          Ganassi/Chevy     1m07.9981s  Round 2     
 8. Marco Andretti       Andretti/Honda    1m08.0179s  Round 2     
 9. Helio Castroneves    Penske/Chevy      1m08.1119s  Round 2     
10. Justin Wilson        Coyne/Honda       1m08.1218s  Round 2     
11. Carlos Munoz         Andretti/Honda    1m08.1506s  Round 2     
12. Oriol Servia         Rahal/Honda       1m08.3532s  Round 2     
13. Tony Kanaan          Ganassi/Chevy     1m08.4424s  Group 1     
14. Will Power           Penske/Chevy      1m08.1159s  Group 2     
15. Takuma Sato          Foyt/Honda        1m08.5660s  Group 1     
16. Juan Pablo Montoya   Penske/Chevy      1m08.3649s  Group 2     
17. Mike Conway          Carpenter/Chevy   1m08.5702s  Group 1     
18. Ryan Briscoe         Ganassi/Chevy     1m08.3699s  Group 2     
19. Charlie Kimball      Ganassi/Chevy     1m08.6507s  Group 1     
20. Mikhail Aleshin      Schmidt/Honda     1m08.4321s  Group 2     
21. Carlos Huertas       Coyne/Honda       1m08.7051s  Group 1     
22. Sebastian Saavedra   KV/Chevy          1m08.9619s  Group 2     
23. Graham Rahal         Rahal/Honda       1m09.0562s  Group 2     
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