Franchitti takes Milwaukee pole

Dario Franchitti claimed his and the Ganassi team's first pole position of the 2011 IndyCar season in Milwaukee qualifying

Franchitti takes Milwaukee pole

The reigning champion was quickest in both today's practice sessions, and carried that form through to qualifying with a two-lap average of 170.841mph after a run he rated as his best ever at the Wisconsin one-mile oval.

Ganassi looked set for a front row sweep for a while as Franchitti's team-mate Scott Dixon held provisional pole before the Scot's qualifying attempt.

But Helio Castroneves improved a low-key day for Penske by getting between the Ganassi duo to take second late in a session which saw his team-mates Ryan Briscoe and Will Power only eighth and 17th, leaving the latter particularly frustrated.

KV Racing Technology maintained its very strong practice form to put all three of its cars in the top six - Tony Kanaan starting fourth ahead of his team-mates Takuma Sato and EJ Viso.

Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti qualified either side of Briscoe in seventh and ninth, with Oriol Servia completing the top 10 for Newman/Haas and Dreyer & Reinbold's Ana Beatriz securing a career-best 11th.

Alex Tagliani's run of pole positions for Sam Schmidt Motorsports came to an end at Milwaukee, the Canadian ending up 19th.

Qualifying was interrupted by a violent crash for Simona de Silvestro, who spun into the barriers at Turn 4 then had a secondary impact with the inside wall. The HVM driver was carefully removed from her car and then taken to hospital for checks and observation. She was awake and alert, but complaining of stiffness.

Pos Driver Team  Speed 1. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 170.841 2. Helio Castroneves Penske 169.999 3. Scott Dixon Ganassi 169.582 4. Tony Kanaan KV 169.365 5. Takuma Sato KV 169.308 6. EJ Viso KV 169.082 7. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti 169.014 8. Ryan Briscoe Penske 168.598 9. Marco Andretti Andretti 168.456 10. Oriol Servia Newman/Haas 168.320 11. Ana Beatriz Dreyer & Reinbold 167.863 12. Graham Rahal Ganassi 167.674 13. Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold 167.621 14. Alex Lloyd Dale Coyne 167.162 15. Danica Patrick Andretti 166.779 16. James Hinchcliffe Newman/Haas 166.558 17. Will Power Penske 166.248 18. JR Hildebrand Panther 166.070 19. Alex Tagliani Sam Schmidt 166.031 20. Mike Conway Andretti 166.003 21. Charlie Kimball Ganassi 165.592 22. Vitor Meira Foyt 165.375 23. James Jakes Dale Coyne 164.814 24. Sebastian Saavedra Conquest 164.440 25. Ed Carpenter Sarah Fisher 163.304 26. Simona de Silvestro HVM 
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Franchitti pips Sato in final practice
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