Will Power has scored his fourth-straight pole position for the season opening IndyCar race on the streets of St Petersburg in Florida.
While the Toowoomba driver’s form was anticipated, the others at the head of the field did supply some surprises.
The Team Penske driver posted a best lap of 1 minute, 1.2070 seconds in the 10-minute Firestone Fast Six session that culminated three rounds of knockout qualifications for the IZOD IndyCar Series race.
“Good start to the year,” said Power after winning his 30th pole.
“I thought qualifying was going to be very tight. It’s very tight on new tyres but we made a few changes for the last run and it was good to see some new people up there.
“It’s always like that in IndyCar. You can never predict what’s going to happen. We don’t know who is going to win, but that is the excitement of it. (We’ve) never had so much depth in the field of drivers.”
Making his 50th start, Takuma Sato will share the front row on his debut for Indy legend A.J. Foyt. Simona de Silvestro carried her practice form into qualifying with third fastest for KV Racing Technology.
“It’s really cool to finally get the results we wanted,” said de Silvestro.
“Thanks to KV Racing Technology for giving me the opportunity. And the whole Nuclear Clean Air Energy campaign to be supporting me after the year we had last year. It’s unbelievable.
James Hinchcliffe (Andretti Autosport), will start fourth while three-time and defending race winner Helio Castroneves (Team Penske).
Defending IndyCar champion Ryan hunter-Reay will start eighth, while Ganassi Racing’s Dario Franchitti will start 10th. Even worse for Kiwi Scott Dixion who was 20th.
Here are the qualifying highlights
QUALFIYING: IndyCar Grand Prif of St Petersburg
|1||Will Power||Penske : Chevrolet||1:01.2070|
|2||Takuma Sato||Foyt : Honda||1:01.5776|
|3||Simona de Silvestro||KV : Chevrolet||1:01.7670|
|4||James Hinchcliffe||Andretti : Chevrolet||1:01.8229|
|5||Helio Castroneves||Penske : Chevrolet||1:01.8991|
|6||Tristan Vautier||Schmidt : Honda||1:02.0645|
|7||Marco Andretti||Andretti : Chevrolet||1:01.6883|
|8||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti : Chevrolet||1:01.7339|
|9||Sebastian Saavedra||Dragon : Chevrolet||1:01.7944|
|10||Dario Franchitti||Ganassi : Honda||1:01.8150|
|11||Tony Kanaan||KV : Chevrolet||1:01.9139|
|12||Oriol Servia||Panther/DRR : Chevrolet||1:02.1483|
|13||Justin Wilson||Coyne : Honda||1:02.2177|
|14||Charlie Kimball||Ganassi : Honda||1:02.1198|
|15||Graham Rahal||Rahal : Honda||1:02.2709|
|16||Josef Newgarden||Fisher : Honda||1:02.1592|
|17||Alex Tagliani||Herta : Honda||1:02.3328|
|18||James Jakes||Rahal : Honda||1:02.1658|
|19||Simon Pagenaud||Schmidt : Honda||1:02.4736|
|20||Scott Dixon||Ganassi : Honda||1:02.1715|
|21||Sebastien Bourdais||Dragon : Chevrolet||1:02.6537|
|22||EJ Viso||Andretti : Chevrolet||1:02.1986|
|23||Ed Carpenter||Carpenter : Chevrolet||1:02.6634|
|24||JR Hildebrand||Panther : Chevrolet||1:02.3179|
|25||Ana Beatriz||Coyne : Honda||1:03.2551|