Simon Pagenaud on Indianapolis GP pole amid qualifying upsets

IndyCar championship leader Simon Pagenaud took advantage of a host of big names being eliminated to claim Grand Prix of Indianapolis pole position on the track's road course for Penske

Simon Pagenaud on Indianapolis GP pole amid qualifying upsets

The Frenchman was the only Penske Dallara-Chevrolet driver to make the fast six, and trumped Charlie Kimball to the top spot with a 1m08.6868s - a pole lap record on the new road course layout.

The six eliminated at the end of the second stage of qualifying in truth looked more like the six expected to battle it out for pole, with the Penske duo of Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power, and the Ganassi Dallara-Chevy of Scott Dixon all missing out on the fast six.

Instead, the three Honda-powered cars of Graham Rahal, James Hinchcliffe and Jack Hawksworth all reached the final six-minute shootout, lining up third, fourth and sixth respectively.

Josef Newgarden was the other top-six contender and finished fifth, 0.7448s off Pagenaud's time.

UPDATE: Rahal and Newgarden penalised

Montoya and Power both bemoaned traffic on their flying laps, meaning Montoya will line up eighth while Power starts from 12th for the race.

Max Chilton was on the cusp but narrowly missed out on the fastest 12 by just 0.0029s meaning he will line up on the seventh row for the race.

The first qualifying group featured a handful of big scalps including Team Penske's Helio Castroneves, who wrestled braking issues that prompted several excursions across the Turn 6 grass.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, Carlos Munoz and Marco Andretti's eliminations compounded a difficult session for the Andretti Dallara-Honda team.

The part-time entries of Matt Brabham, JR Hildebrand, Spencer Pigot, Gabby Chaves and Alex Tagliani all failed to make it through to the second stage of qualifying.

UPDATED GRID

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1m08.6868s
2 Charlie Kimball Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 0.2948s
3 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 0.5392s
4 Jack Hawksworth AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Honda 0.8273s
5 Tony Kanaan Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 0.5643s
6 Juan Pablo Montoya Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 0.5777s
7 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 0.7142s
8 Sebastien Bourdais KVSH Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 0.7568s
9 Mikhail Aleshin Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 0.9903s
10 Will Power Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1.2429s
11 Max Chilton Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 0.6421s
12 Alexander Rossi Andretti Herta Dallara/Honda 0.4607s
13 Helio Castroneves Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 0.8079s
14 Matthew Brabham Team Murray Dallara/Chevrolet 0.6076s
15 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 0.8408s
16 J.R. Hildebrand Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 0.7509s
17 Carlos Munoz Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 0.9589s
18 Spencer Pigot Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 0.7723s
19 Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 1.0610s
20 Takuma Sato AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Honda 0.7791s
21 Alex Tagliani AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Honda 1.7241s
22 Conor Daly Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 0.7927s
23 Gabby Chaves Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 1.0852s
24 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda -
25 Josef Newgarden Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet -

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