Hunter-Reay fastest in Edmonton IndyCar qualifying
IndyCar points leader Ryan Hunter-Reay has taken the bonus point for winning pole, but will start the 75-lap Edmonton Indy from 11th due to an engine change heading into the weekend.
Hunter-Reay had won the previous three races, but his team took the decision to change the Chevrolet powerplant after his team-mate James Hinchcliffe had his engine drop power in Toronto two weeks ago.
A determined Hunter-Reay scored his first pole of the season and second of his IndyCar career with a best lap of 1:17.2338 in the final session on the 3.58-kilometre, 13-turn City Centre Airport circuit.
“I am really happy with that pole,” said Hunter-Reay.
“The track was constantly changing throughout the sessions (because of rain), and putting on a clear visor helped so I could see the wet spots.
“We hadn’t been on a wet track all weekend so it was kind of a guess on what (racing) line to use. These cars have very little give in them – going over the bumps and when it is wet it is very tricky.
“It was great we picked up a championship point for the DHL/Dr Pepper team, but too bad we will be staring 11th instead of first because of the engine change. Tomorrow will be really interesting for everyone.”
Dario Franchitti, who started from the pole in each of Hunter-Reay’s victories, will share Row 1 with Australia’s Ryan Briscoe. Takuma Sato, the 2011 pole winner, and Alex Tagliani will be on Row 2, while Helio Castroneves and Australia’s Will Power will occupy Row 3.
Power blistered the track record in the first round of qualifying. However, the 2011 and ’09 race winner was bumped in the second round as rain pelted the eastern edge (Turns 1-4), which prompted crews to switch to the intermediate rain tyre. On the final lap of the 10-minute session, Power missed the cut by .0285 of a second to Hunter-Reay.
Power laid down a lap of 1:15.9508 in Round 1 — 2.6 seconds quicker than the 2011 pole time set by Sato.
The course dried enough for the Firestone Fast Six participants to put the Firestone alternate tyres back on.
QUALIFYING: Edmonton Indy
|1||Ryan Hunter-Reay*||Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda||Chevrolet||1:17.2338|
|2||Dario Franchitti||Target Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda||1:17.2446|
|3||Ryan Briscoe||Hitachi Team Penske||Chevrolet||1:17.4238|
|4||Takuma Sato||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||Honda||1:17.5526|
|5||Alex Tagliani||Team Barracuda – BHA||Honda||1:17.6139|
|6||Helio Castroneves||Penske Truck Rental||Chevrolet||1:17.6401|
|7||Will Power||Verizon Team Penske||Chevrolet||1:27.5666|
|8||Scott Dixon||Target Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda||1:27.7001|
|9||Simon Pagenaud||Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports||Honda||1:27.8410|
|10||Rubens Barrichello||BMC – Embrase – KV Racing Technology||Chevrolet||1:28.2521|
|11||Graham Rahal||Ohio Service Central||Honda||1:28.6737|
|12||James Hinchcliffe||Team GoDaddy.com||Chevrolet||1:28.7409|
|13||Justin Wilson||Sonny’s BBQ||Honda||1:16.6190|
|14||Sebastien Bourdais||TrueCar Dragon Racing||Chevrolet||1:16.9747|
|15||Josef Newgarden||Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing||Honda||1:16.7533|
|16||James Jakes||Boy Scouts of America||Honda||1:16.9900|
|17||Marco Andretti||Team Dr Pepper||Chevrolet||1:16.9881|
|18||E.J. Viso||CITGO/PDVSA KV Racing Technology||Chevrolet||1:16.9920|
|19||Charlie Kimball||NovoRapid Flex Touch||Honda||1:17.0078|
|20||Oriol Servia||Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||Chevrolet||1:17.3906|
|21||JR Hildebrand||National Guard Panther Racing||Chevrolet||1:17.5285|
|22||Tony Kanaan||GEICO-Mouser Electronics KVRT||Chevrolet||1:17.5441|
|23||Simona de Silvestro||Nuclear Clean Air Energy/Lotus HVM||Lotus||1:17.9789|
|24||Ed Carpenter||Fuzzy’s Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing||Chevrolet||1:17.6918|
|25||Mike Conway||ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Racing||Honda||1:18.8781|
* 10 spot grid penalty to be applied prior to start
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