Detroit IndyCar: Dario Franchitti fastest but EJ Viso gets pole

Dario Franchitti topped the times in qualifying for the first of this weekend's two IndyCar races in Detroit, although a penalty for the Scot means EJ Viso will start from first

Detroit IndyCar: Dario Franchitti fastest but EJ Viso gets pole

Franchitti joined Graham Rahal, Charlie Kimball and Josef Newgarden in coming into the weekend with a grid penalty, and his Detroit weekend got off to a difficult start when he managed to complete just four laps in qualifying after a brush with the wall.

The Ganassi driver also had to overcome a drive-through penalty in the Fast Six session for a blend line violation, but still managed to go to the top of the timing charts with his 1m19.3311s lap.

Andretti driver Viso's best lap was 0.2 seconds down on Franchitti's, while Mike Conway did a great job to go third-fastest in his first weekend at the wheel of the second Dale Coyne Racing entry.

James Jakes finished up fourth-quickest in his first-ever Fast Six appearance, with Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alex Tagliani rounding out the top six.

A heavy shower immediately prior to the first session forced the first group to qualify on a soaking wet track, although a dry line began to appear as the afternoon progressed.

Most drivers managed to navigate the changing conditions in one piece; the only significant exception being Helio Castroneves, who lost the rear and spun to a stop at Turn 4 halfway through the second phase.

Initially the incident was controlled under local yellows, however race control changed it to red after two minutes. There was consternation from several teams, including Schmidt Peterson Motorsport and AJ Foyt Enterprises, who felt that they were unfairly compromised by what they considered to be inconsistencies in how the flags were used.

"There was a local yellow, they kept going, the conditions didn't change, and they suddenly went red," said Foyt's Takuma Sato. "We're not happy about it."

A separate qualifying session for the Sunday race will take place on Saturday morning.

Pos Driver Team/Engine Time Gap 1. Dario Franchitti Ganassi/Honda 1m19.3311s * 2. EJ Viso Andretti/Chevy 1m19.5572s + 0.2261s 3. Mike Conway Coyne/Honda 1m19.8285s + 0.4974s 4. James Jakes Rahal/Honda 1m19.9897s + 0.6586s 5. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti/Chevy 1m20.0030s + 0.6719s 6. Alex Tagliani Herta/Honda 1m20.3514s + 1.0203s 7. Tristan Vautier Schmidt/Honda 1m22.4997s Round 2 8. Takuma Sato Foyt/Honda 1m22.7164s Round 2 9. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt/Honda 1m22.8250s Round 2 10. Will Power Penske/Chevy 1m22.9537s Round 2 11. Sebastian Saavedra Dragon/Chevy 1m26.8058s Round 2 12. Helio Castroneves Penske/Chevy Round 2 13. AJ Allmendinger Penske/Chevy 1m37.7163s Group 1 14. Graham Rahal Rahal/Honda 1m30.5258s Group 2* 15. Sebastien Bourdais Dragon/Chevy 1m37.8023s Group 1 16. Scott Dixon Ganassi/Honda 1m30.6929s Group 2 17. Justin Wilson Coyne/Honda 1m37.8891s Group 1 18. Simona de Silvestro KV/Chevy 1m31.0623s Group 2 19. Marco Andretti Andretti/Chevy 1m38.0723s Group 1 20. Tony Kanaan KV/Chevy 1m31.5555s Group 2 21. James Hinchcliffe Andretti/Chevy 1m38.2000s Group 1 22. Ryan Briscoe Panther/Chevy 1m31.6222s Group 2 23. Josef Newgarden Fisher/Honda 1m38.8651s Group 1* 24. Ed Carpenter Carpenter/Chevy 1m33.3912s Group 2 25. Charlie Kimball Ganassi/Honda 1m44.0316s Group 1* * Will get 10-place grid penalty All drivers use Dallara DW12 chassis 
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