James Hinchcliffe leads part one of Indianapolis 500 Pole Day qualifying
|Saturday, May 19th 2012, 20:28 GMT|
Andretti Autosport's James Hinchcliffe was fastest in the first part of Pole Day qualifying for the Indianapolis 500.
The Canadian clocked a speed of 225.746mph over his four-lap run to beat Penske's Will Power and fellow Andretti driver Ryan Hunter-Reay to the top spot in the five-hour preliminary segment of qualifying for the IndyCar Series' premier race.
Penske's Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe completed the top five, while Tony Kanaan made it to sixth on his second qualifying attempt after his first run was disallowed due to a ballast issue on his KV Racing Technology Dallara-Chevrolet.
All three of Andretti Autosport's regular entries got into the top nine, with Marco Andretti seventh quickest.
Rookie Josef Newgarden continued his excellent Indianapolis form for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing to go eighth quickest. KV's EJ Viso completes the field for the nine-car pole shoot-out that will now decide the top three rows of the grid.
The first part of the day set the field from 10th to 24th place, with Rubens Barrichello in the third KV car the quickest of those to miss the pole cut in 10th, ahead of last year's polesitter Alex Tagliani (Bryan Herta Autosport).
None of the Ganassi drivers made it into the top nine. Graham Rahal was the team's fastest man in 12th, while his team-mates Charlie Kimball, Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti will start in 14th through 16th positions, just behind Ana Beatriz (Andretti/Conquest).
Ed Carpenter (Ed Carpenter Racing), Oriol Servia (Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold) and Bryan Clauson (Fisher Hartman) all crashed during qualifying runs. The trio escaped injury and should be among the drivers fighting for the remaining nine grid spots during Sunday's Bump Day qualifying.
AJ Foyt duo Wade Cunningham and Mike Conway, and Dragon Racing's Sebastien Bourdais were all 'bumped' outside the top 24 and will also have to qualify on Bump Day. Bourdais' team-mate Katherine Legge and the two Lotus-powered cars of Jean Alesi (Fan Force United) and Simona de Silvestro (HVM) were among those who did not try qualifying runs on Saturday.