The Andretti Autosports driver Ryan Hunter-Reay has clinched pole position for the Sao Paulo street race while the Team Penske spearheads were caught out by red flags.
Hunter-Reay, the defending IndyCar Series champion, managed to narrowly tip out his team-mate EJ Viso while Ganassi driver Dario Franchitti was third fastest in the knockout format.
In clocking 1:20.4312s, Hunter-Reay broke the track record set by Penske’s Will Power.
“I gave it everything I had, and it’s great to get the DHL Chevrolet up front again and on pole,” said Runter-Reay.
“That’s three of the four races this year that we’ve been on the front row and twice on pole.
“Tomorrow’s the challenge, though. We thought we had a good car at Long Beach, and once we got into the race, I knew we were challenged and would be for the rest of the day. We need to make sure we’ve fixed those things this time and go out and have a great race.
“Starting on pole here is a challenge because you are a sitting duck out front on the long straights.”
It was Power and his team-mate Helio Castroneves who were left stranded when James Jakes brought out the red flags in the opening session.
After not putting in a flying lap Power will now be forced to start from 22nd, continuing his indifferent start to the season while Castroneves will start from 18th.
Tony Kanaan, who is still not fully recovered from a hand injury from the previous round at Long Beach, starts on the second row alongside Franchitti.
James Hinchcliffe, Scott Dixon and four-times Champ Car series winner Sebastien Bourdais are next.
RESULT: Sao Paulo qualifying
|1||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Dallara-Chevy||1m20.4312s|
|2||EJ Viso||Andretti Dallara-Chevy||1m20.7380s||+0.3068s|
|3||Dario Franchitti||Ganassi Dallara-Honda||1m20.8922s||+0.4610s|
|4||Tony Kannan||KV Dallara-Chevy||1m20.9812s||+0.5500s|
|5||James Hinchliffe||Andretti Dallara-Chevy||1m20.9893s||+0.5581s|
|6||Scott Dixon||Ganassi Dallara-Honda||1m21.1183s||+ 0.6871s|
|7||Sebastien Bourdais||Dragon Dallara-Chevy||1m20.8210s||Round 2|
|8||Simona de Silvestro||KV Dallara-Chevy||1m20.9390s||Round 2|
|9||Justin Wilson||Coyne Dallara-Honda||1m21.0570s||Round 2|
|10||Marco Andretti||Andretti Dallara-Chevy||1m21.1716s||Round 2|
|11||JR Hilderbrand||Panther Dallara-Cevy||1m21.2961s||Round 2|
|12||Takuma Sato||Foyt Dallara-Honda||1m21.3618s||Round 2|
|13||Oriol Servia||Panther DRR Dallara-Chevy||1m21.7963s||Group 1|
|14||Ed Carpenter||Carpenter Dallara-Chevy||1m24.0203s||Group 2|
|15||Alex Tagliani||Herta Dallara-Honda||1m21.8636s||Group 1|
|16||Ana Beatriz||Coyne Dallara-Honda||1m24.8864s||Group 2|
|17||Charlie Kimball||Ganassi Dallara-Honda||1m22.2482s||Group 1|
|18||Helio Casroneves||Penkse Dallara-Chevy||1m25.1734s||Group 2|
|19||Graham Rahal||Rahal Dallara-Honda||1m22.2998s||Group 1|
|20||Sebastian Saavedra||Dragon Dallara-Chevy||Group 2|
|21||Tristan Vautier||Schmidt Dallara-Honda||Group 1|
|22||Will Power||Penske Dallara-Chevy||Group 2|
|23||Josef Newgarden||Fisher Dallara-Honda||Group 1|
|24||Simon Pagenaud||Schmidt Dallara-Honda||Group 2|
|25||James Jakes||Rahal Dallara-Honda||Group 2|