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Takuma Sato takes first-ever IndyCar pole

Speedcafe.com

Saturday 25th June, 2011 - 10:12am

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Takumo Sato celebrates his pole position

Takumo Sato celebrates his pole position

Takuma Sato has claimed his first IndyCar Series pole position ahead of tomrrow’s Iowa Corn Indy 250.

It was a strong short-oval effort for KV Racing Technology, with Sato’s pole position backed up by third for his team-mate Tony Kanaan.

Andretti Autosport driver’s Danica Patrick split the KV pair in her best qualifying performance of the year.

JR Hildebrand took a strong fourth place for Panther Racing, leaving the best of the mighty Penske and Ganassi cars back on Row 3 – title rivals Will Power (Penske) and Dario Franchitti (Ganassi) will start fifth and sixth.

James Hinchcliffe impressed with seventh place for Newman/Haas, despite missing much of morning practice with mechanical problems.

Ryan Hunter-Reay and Mike Conway took eighth and ninth, ahead of Australian Ryan Briscoe in the next Penske entry. The team’s third driver Helio Castroneves was back in 13th, while a very slow first lap left Ganassi’s Scott Dixon way back in 23rd.

HVM’s Simona de Silvestro has withdrawn from the event when a medical examination revealed she was still suffering the effects of concussion from a qualifying crash in Milwaukee two weeks ago.

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