Will Power back on IndyCar pole in Toronto
|By Matt Beer||Saturday, July 9th 2011, 18:16 GMT|
Will Power returned to pole position in qualifying for the IndyCar Series' Toronto round.
The Penske driver had topped qualifying at each of the first four rounds of the season, all of which were road or street courses, but had not managed a pole at any of the ovals that followed.
In Toronto, Power led the way for most of the final Fast Six pole shoot-out, setting a best time of 59.577s to hold off Ganassi duo Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti, with Dixon getting within 0.0875 seconds of pole.
Morning practice pacesetter Mike Conway continued his good form to take fourth on the grid, just 0.03s down on Franchitti. Conway was the best of the Andretti Autosport cars, with Ryan Hunter-Reay next up in eighth but Iowa winner Marco Andretti and Danica Patrick way down in 20th and 21st.
Three of the four cars from the Ganassi stable made it into the Fast Six, as Graham Rahal claimed fifth.
Newman/Haas driver Oriol Servia was the final man to reach the pole session, picking up pace for qualifying after a low-key practice build-up and taking sixth.
Sebastien Bourdais showed the best pace of his American comeback so far as he took a very promising seventh on the grid for Dale Coyne Racing.
Top Canadian was Alex Tagliani (Sam Schmidt Motorsports) in ninth, with James Hinchcliffe (Newman/Haas) just missing out on the top 12, and Paul Tracy struggling to 24th in the Dragon Racing car.
Penske's Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves only managed 10th and 12th, split by Dreyer & Reinbold's Justin Wilson, as all three found their previous pace hard to replicate when they switched to the softer tyres.
Further back, there was disappointment for KV Racing Technology as its three cars failed to get beyond the group stages of qualifying after flying in the recent short oval events, but encouragement for Sebastian Saavedra, who took 15th for Conquest despite engine problems limiting his practice mileage.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Will Power Penske 59.577s 2. Scott Dixon Ganassi 59.665s + 0.0875s 3. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 59.900s + 0.3229s 4. Mike Conway Andretti 59.933s + 0.3555s 5. Graham Rahal Ganassi 1m00.046s + 0.4692s 6. Oriol Servia Newman/Haas 1m00.334s + 0.7570s 7. Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne 59.824s Part 2 8. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti 59.871s Part 2 9. Alex Tagliani Sam Schmidt 59.890s Part 2 10. Ryan Briscoe Penske 59.902s Part 2 11. Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold 59.964s Part 2 12. Helio Castroneves Penske 1m00.011s Part 2 13. James Hinchcliffe Newman/Haas 59.835s Group 1 14. Vitor Meira Foyt 59.987s Group 2 15. Sebastian Saavedra Conquest 59.939s Group 1 16. Tony Kanaan KV 1m00.015s Group 2 17. Simona de Silvestro HVM 1m00.081s Group 1 18. EJ Viso KV 1m00.119s Group 2 19. Takuma Sato KV 1m00.100s Group 1 20. Marco Andretti Andretti 1m00.154s Group 2 21. Danica Patrick Andretti 1m00.344s Group 1 22. JR Hildebrand Panther 1m00.447s Group 2 23. James Jakes Dale Coyne 1m00.623s Group 1 24. Paul Tracy Dragon 1m00.452s Group 2 25. Charlie Kimball Ganassi 1m00.646s Group 1 26. Ana Beatriz Dreyer & Reinbold 1m00.792s Group 2