Will Power takes pole for IndyCar opener in St Petersburg

Will Power set a new track record on his way to claiming pole position for Sunday's IndyCar season-opener at St Petersburg

Will Power takes pole for IndyCar opener in St Petersburg

The Penske driver secured the top spot with a 1m01.3721s, easily breaking the previous record - which he also held - of 1m01.6026s.

The race will be the third in succession at the Florida track that Power has started from pole.

Power's team-mate Ryan Briscoe made it a one-two for Penske despite suffering a battery problem during the final phase of qualifying. The Australian's best time was just under 0.2s off Power's, but comfortably clear of third-placed Ryan Hunter-Reay.

James Hinchcliffe, Helio Castroneves (who needed a quick rear suspension change after clipping the wall at Turn 9) and Simon Pagenaud completed the top six.

The big surprise of the session was the Ganassi team's failure to make the Fast Six.

Scott Dixon only just missed out, and indeed will be promoted to sixth due to the 10-place grid penalty issued to Pagenaud yesterday for an unauthorised engine change.

Reigning champion Dario Franchitti, meanwhile, could manage no better than the 10th-best time, although he also stands to gain a place at Pagenaud's expense.

There were encouraging signs for Rubens Barrichello, who came close to progressing from the first qualifying phase before eventually finishing up 14th on the grid.

Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Will Power Penske DW12-Chevrolet 1m01.3721s 2. Ryan Briscoe Penske DW12-Chevrolet 1m01.5357s + 0.1636s 3. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti DW12-Chevrolet 1m01.9321s + 0.5600s 4. James Hinchcliffe Andretti DW12-Chevrolet 1m01.9701s + 0.5980s 5. Helio Castroneves Penske DW12-Chevrolet 1m01.9987s + 0.6266s 6. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt-Hamilton DW12-Honda 1m02.1095s + 0.7374s 7. Scott Dixon Ganassi DW12-Honda 1m01.7636s Top 12 8. Marco Andretti Andretti DW12-Chevrolet 1m01.7895s Top 12 9. Tony Kanaan KV DW12-Chevrolet 1m01.8699s Top 12 10. Dario Franchitti Ganassi DW12-Honda 1m01.9570s Top 12 11. Graham Rahal Ganassi DW12-Honda 1m02.0233s Top 12 12. Mike Conway Foyt DW12-Honda 1m02.5084s Top 12 13. EJ Viso KV DW12-Chevrolet 1m02.5146s Group 1 14. Rubens Barrichello KV DW12-Chevrolet 1m02.2009s Group 2 15. Takuma Sato Rahal DW12-Honda 1m02.6015s Group 1 16. Justin Wilson Dale Coyne DW12-Honda 1m02.2538s Group 2 17. Alex Tagliani Herta DW12-Lotus 1m02.6506s Group 1 18. JR Hildebrand Panther DW12-Chevrolet 1m02.4426s Group 2 19. Josef Newgarden Fisher Hartman DW12-Honda 1m02.7155s Group 1 20. James Jakes Dale Coyne DW12-Honda 1m02.5271s Group 2 21. Simona de Silvestro HVM DW12-Lotus 1m02.8218s Group 1 22. Charlie Kimball Ganassi DW12-Honda 1m03.0437s Group 2 23. Oriol Servia Dreyer & Reinbold DW12-Lotus 1m02.8771s Group 1 24. Ed Carpenter Carpenter DW12-Chevrolet 1m03.3591s Group 2 25. Katherine Legge Dragon DW12-Lotus 1m03.6048s Group 1 26. Sebastien Bourdais Dragon DW12-Lotus 1m05.6858s Group 2 
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