Will powers his way to pole at Sonoma

Speedcafe.com

Sunday 26th August, 2012 - 8:56am

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Will Power

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.

Sonoma qualifying

1 Will Power 1:17.2709
2 Ryan Briscoe 1:17.4347
3 Sebastien Bourdais 1:17.7497
4 Helio Castroneves 1:18.1090
5 Scott Dixon 1:18.2126
6 Dario Franchitti 1:18.3462
7 Ryan Hunter-Reay 1:18.3355
8 Alex Tagliani 1:18.4168
9 Simon Pagenaud 1:18.4434
10 *Justin Wilson 1:18.6258
11 James Hinchcliffe 1:18.7885
12 Rubens Barrichello 1:18.9788
13 *Sebastian Saavedra 1:18.8918
14 Marco Andretti 1:18.8925
15 Graham Rahal 1:18.8981
16 Mike Conway 1:18.9048
17 JR Hilderbrand 1:19.0931
18 Tony Kanaan 1:18.9475
19 EJ Viso 1:19.3953
20 Oriol Servia 1:18.9672
21 Katherine Legge 1:19.6414
22 Charlie Kimball 1:19.0262
23 Josef Newgarden 1:19.7468
24 *Takuma Sato 1:19.2821
25 *Simona de Silvestro 1:20.2295
26 James Jakes 1:19.5152
27 Ed Carpenter 1:19.6837


*10-place grid penalties for engine changes

Full IndyCar standings

1 Will Power 380
2 Ryan Hunter-Reay 374
3 Helio Castroneves 353
4 Scott Dixon 351
5 James Hinchcliffe 316
6 Simon Pagenaud 311
7 Tony Kanaan 307
8 Dario Franchitti 271
9 Ryan Briscoe 267
10 Graham Rahal 256
11 Oriol Servia 237
12 Justin Wilson 234
13 Takuma Sato 233
14 JR Hilderbrand 233
15 Marco Andretti 227
16 Charlie Kimball 216
17 Rubens Barrichello 215
18 Alex Tagliani 214
19 Mike Conway 203
20 EJ Viso 198
21 Ed Carpenter 187
22 James Jakes 184
23 Josef Newgarden 174
24 Sebastien Bourdais 149
25 Simona de Silvestro 147
26 Katherine Legge 103
27 Ana Beatriz 28
28 Townsend Bell 26
29 Giorgio Pantano 16
30 Michel Jourdain 16
31 Sebastien Saavedra 14
32 Ryan Clausen 13
33 Wade Cunningham 13
34 Jean Alesi 13



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