Hunter-Reay fastest in Edmonton IndyCar qualifying

Ryan Hunter-Reay with Edmonton pole cheque

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

Pos Driver Team Engine Time
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

Check out the video from the Firestone Fast 6 

Here are the interviews with the top drivers

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