Electrical storms forced the cancellation of qualifying for the IndyCar race at NOLA, meaning that Juan Pablo Montoya will start from pole position in a field set by entrant points.
All cars managed to set a time: the first group in the opening phase completed a full session after a delayed start, however the second group managed only a handful of laps before lightning forced the session to be red-flagged.
The result is a huge break for Montoya and Penske team-mate Helio Castroneves, who had failed to progress from their opening group and were facing the prospect of starting the race from near the back of the grid.
It also represents what might be interpreted as a touch of poetic justice for Sebastien Bourdais, who had topped the times in the opening group only to be docked his two fastest laps after race control determined that he had blocked Tony Kanaan while recovering from a spin.
The decision was protested vigorously by KV Racing Technology co-owner Jimmy Vasser, and with some justification: heavy spray thrown up from the wet track had impeded the Frenchman's view of what was behind him, and he had moved over to allow Kanaan past a few moments later.
Kanaan finished the session second-fastest in the group, and would have progressed anyway.
The switch to a line-up based upon entrant points means that Bourdais will now start sixth on a grid where the first three rows will be filled by Chevrolet-powered drivers.
Will Power will join Montoya on the front row, with Kanaan, Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud behind him.
Those adversely affected include Charlie Kimball, who was set to progress from the second group but will instead start from 21st, and Ganassi team-mate Sage Karam, who was similarly well-placed and will instead line up 19th.
|1||Juan Pablo Montoya||Team Penske||Dallara/Chevrolet|
|2||Will Power||Team Penske||Dallara/Chevrolet|
|3||Tony Kanaan||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara/Chevrolet|
|4||Helio Castroneves||Team Penske||Dallara/Chevrolet|
|5||Simon Pagenaud||Team Penske||Dallara/Chevrolet|
|6||Sebastien Bourdais||KVSH Racing||Dallara/Chevrolet|
|7||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport||Dallara/Honda|
|8||Jack Hawksworth||AJ Foyt Enterprises||Dallara/Honda|
|9||Luca Filippi||CFH Racing||Dallara/Chevrolet|
|10||Marco Andretti||Andretti Autosport||Dallara/Honda|
|11||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan||Dallara/Honda|
|12||Josef Newgarden||CFH Racing||Dallara/Chevrolet|
|13||Takuma Sato||AJ Foyt Enterprises||Dallara/Honda|
|14||Carlos Munoz||Andretti Autosport||Dallara/Honda|
|15||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara/Chevrolet|
|16||James Hinchcliffe||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||Dallara/Honda|
|17||Gabby Chaves||Bryan Herta Autosport||Dallara/Honda|
|18||Simona de Silvestro||Andretti Autosport||Dallara/Honda|
|19||Sage Karam||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara/Chevrolet|
|20||Stefano Coletti||KV Racing Technology||Dallara/Chevrolet|
|21||Charlie Kimball||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara/Chevrolet|
|22||James Jakes||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||Dallara/Honda|
|23||Francesco Dracone||Dale Coyne Racing||Dallara/Honda|
|24||Carlos Huertas||Dale Coyne Racing||Dallara/Honda|