Will Power leads a Penske clean sweep of the top three in IndyCar qualifying at Sears Point
|By Mark Glendenning
||Saturday, August 27th 2011, 23:48 GMT
Will Power led an all-Penske top three to take pole position for Sunday's IndyCar race at Sears Point with a dominant performance in qualifying.
Power, who won at the California road course last year, set the benchmark with a 1m18.6017s effort that proved well beyond the reach of any of his rivals.
Helio Castroneves came closest, albeit almost 0.5s in arrears, while Ryan Briscoe was third fastest.
"We were just smart with our tyres in the first two rounds, and we knew we had to lay one down in the third round, and we did that," said Power after securing his sixth pole position of the season.
"It's important here - it's tough to pass - but a Penske 1-2-3 is very good. We've got two guys between us and the Target [Ganassi] cars, and that's what we need."
Championship leader Dario Franchitti will line up alongside Briscoe on the second row after failing to find the gains he needed from the softer 'red' tyres, with his Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate Scott Dixon right behind him in fifth.
Rookie Jamies Hinchcliffe rounded out the top six with a great performance in his Newman/Haas car.
Britain's Mike Conway was a strong seventh for Andretti Autosport ahead of Sebastien Bourdais (Dale Coyne), with Ernesto Viso (KV) and Ana Beatriz (Dreyer & Reinbold) rounding out the top 10.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Will Power Penske 1m18.602s (Q4)
2. Helio Castroneves Penske 1m19.092s (Q4) + 0.490s
3. Ryan Briscoe Penske 1m19.111s (Q4) + 0.505s
4. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 1m19.164s (Q4) + 0.545s
5. Scott Dixon Ganassi 1m19.389s (Q4) + 0.788s
6. James Hinchcliffe Newman/Haas 1m19.545s (Q4) + 0.853s
7. Mike Conway Andretti 1m18.939s (Q3) + 0.337s
8. Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne 1m18.971s (Q3) + 0.370s
9. Ernesto Viso KV 1m19.072s (Q3) + 0.471s
10. Ana Beatriz Dreyer & Reinbold 1m19.110s (Q3) + 0.508s
11. Giorgio Pantano Dreyer & Reinbold 1m19.241s (Q3) + 0.640s
12. Alex Tagliani Sam Schmidt 1m19.803s (Q3) + 1.202s
13. Graham Rahal Ganassi 1m19.331s (Q2) + 0.729s
14. Marco Andretti Andretti 1m19.378s (Q2) + 0.770s
15. Martin Plowman AFS/Sam Schmidt 1m19.379s (Q1) + 0.776s
16. Takuma Sato KV 1m19.384s (Q1) + 0.719s
17. James Jakes (Dale Coyne) 1m19.474s (Q1) + 0.873s
18. Oriol Servia Newman/Haas 1m19.396s (Q1) + 0.739s
19. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti 1m19.640s (Q1) + 1.039s
20. JR Hildebrand Panther 1m19.465s (Q1) + 0.864s
21. Tony Kanaan KV 1m19.727s (Q1) + 1.125s
22. Simon Pagenaud Dreyer & Reinbold 1m19.564s (Q1) + 0.962s
23. Sebastian Saavedra Conquest 1m19.752s (Q1) + 1.150s
24. Ho-Pin Tung Sam Schmidt Dragon 1m19.589s (Q1) + 0.988s
25. Danica Patrick Andretti 1m19.785s (Q1) + 1.184s
26. Charlie Kimball Ganassi 1m19.835s (Q1) + 1.233s
27. Ed Carpenter Sarah Fisher 1m20.627s (Q1) + 2.713s
28. Vitor Meira Foyt 1m20.121s (Q1) + 1.837s