Toowoomba driver Will Power has claimed pole position for the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma with Team Penske blocking out the front row of the grid.
Power banged out a 1:17.2709s lap around the northern California road circuit and gain a valuable extra point toward the championship – the third consecutive year he has claimed the top starting berth at the circuit.
“I just really like this track and I would love to make it three in a row,” said Power after winning the last two years at this circuit.
“The wind really made the car unstable the last two days, so it will be interesting to see what the wind is like and it will also be interesting because the race is an extra 10 laps.”
He now has increased his lead to six points over Ryan Hunter-Reay who did not feature in the fast six final part of qualifying.
Power’s team-mate Ryan Briscoe posted a 1:17.4347s lap to claim second spot and repeat the order when the Penske duo dominated practice on Friday.
Sebastien Bourdais claimed the third quickest time to deny Penske’s third driver Helio Castroneves from claiming the top three spots on the starting grid.
The Chip Ganassi pair of Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti were fifth and sixth fastest with Franchitti the only one of the top six to stay with the primary black Firestone tyres.
In a dramatic qualifying session Andretti Autosport driver Hunter-Reay received a jolt, missing out on the fast six, ending up with the seventh fastest time.
Hunter-Reay has a lot of work to do as he tries to keep Power in his sights in the Championship standings.
Tony Kaanan was fuming after being eliminated in the first round of qualifying, claiming another driver blocked his fast run.
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*10-place grid penalties for engine changes
Full IndyCar standings
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