Aussies qualify one-two at St Petersburg

Will Power with his pole cheque

Will Power with his pole cheque

Will Power and Ryan Briscoe will start from the front-row of the grid at St Petersburg for the opening round of the Izod IndyCar Series.

In the category’s debut race meeting with new chassis and engine regulations, the Team Penske team-mates and countrymen showed the field a clean set of heals, comfortably taking the top two spots.

Fellow Penske driver Helio Castroneves backed up the team’s speed advantage by taking fifth place.

While Penske had three cars inside the top five, new engine player Chevrolet went better, clean sweeping the top five places in a dominant qualifying display.

SImon Pagenaud will start 10 places further back after an unauthorised engine change.

The big surprise of the session was the lack of competitiveness of the Ganassi cars. Scoot Dixon was seventh, while reigning champion Dario Franchitti qualified down in 10th.

After being dogged by mechanical dramas in practice, Rubens Barrichello showed a strong turn of speed, taking 14th place (which will be 13th post-Pagenaud’s penalty).

See below for the qualifying results.

1. (12) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 01:01.3721 (105.585)
2. (2) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevy, 01:01.5357 (105.305)
3. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Chevy, 01:01.9321 (104.631)
4. (27) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Chevy, 01:01.9701 (104.567)
5. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 01:01.9987 (104.518)
*6. (77) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 01:02.1095 (104.332)
7. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 01:01.7636 (104.916)
8. (26) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Chevy, 01:01.7895 (104.872)
9. (11) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 01:01.8699 (104.736)
10. (10) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 01:01.9570 (104.589)
11. (38) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 01:02.0233 (104.477)
12. (14) Mike Conway, Dallara-Honda, 01:02.5084 (103.666)
13. (5) EJ Viso, Dallara-Chevy, 01:02.5146 (103.656)
14. (8) Rubens Barrichello, Dallara-Chevy, 01:02.2009 (104.179)
15. (15) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 01:02.6015 (103.512)
16. (18) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 01:02.2538 (104.090)
17. (98) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Lotus, 01:02.6506 (103.431)
18. (4) JR Hildebrand, Dallara-Chevy, 01:02.4426 (103.775)
19. (67) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 01:02.7155 (103.324)
20. (19) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 01:02.5271 (103.635)
21. (78) Simona de Silvestro, Dallara-Lotus, 01:02.8218 (103.149)
22. (83) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 01:03.0437 (102.786)
23. (22) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Lotus, 01:02.8771 (103.058)
24. (20) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy, 01:03.3591 (102.274)
25. (6) Katherine Legge, Dallara-Lotus, 01:04.1654 (100.989)
26. (7) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Lotus, 01:05.6858 (98.651)
*Note: Pagenaud has been given a 10-grid spot penalty for an unapproved engine change on March 23.

Check out the video from qualifying

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