Marco Andretti leads team lockout at Pocono
The speed from Andretti Autosport has continued with Marco Andretti leading a front row lockout for the team at the Pocono IndyCar 400.
Andretti becomes the first team since Penske Racing at the 1988 Indianapolis 500 to lock out a three wide front row. Marco will be joined by Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe in his charge to the flag.
Australia’s Will Power was the best of the Penske drivers bringing his Verizon machine across the line fourth quickest. Championship leader, Helio Castroneves will join him on the second row with Tony Kanaan. Ryan Briscoe will start off the back after not setting a time due to American Le Mans Series commitments.
The lack of speed from Honda on the ovals continued. The best they could manage was seventh with Scott Dixon’s Target Chip Ganassi Racing machine who secured the third row with fellow Honda racers, Takuma Sato and Simon Pagenaud. Dixon, along with team-mate Dario Franchitti (18th) and EJ Viso (22nd – no time after collecting the wall) will receive a 10 place grid penalty for an unauthorised engine change.
Like Viso, Alex Tagliani collected the turn one SAFER barrier during his second qualification lap.
It is somewhat a home race for the Andretti Autosport team and holds special memories for the family with Mario winning the 1986 race at the tricky triangle when his father Michael set the pole.
“Obviously, the race is what we came here for and if we can do it from the pole and take two trophies, why not?” Marco said. “I think it’s going to play out a little bit like Indy. I think there’s going to be a lot of passing, contrary to what people are saying, and I think it’s going to be a lot of ‘right place in the right time.”
Hinchcliffe was chuffed that Andretti Autosport maintained its blistering form on IndyCar’s return to Pocono after a long hiatus.
“It’s a crazy place man,” Hinchcliffe told Speedcafe.com of the tri-oval which is back on and IndyCar calendar after an absence of 24 years.
“It’s just a big learning weekend for us. Unlike most places we don’t have 10 years worth of race data to go back on.
“Everything we are doing is just learning and gathering information at this point. “
“It’s definitely a different kind of racetrack.”
“To lock out the front row was pretty awesome. We just have to figure out the set-up compromise better than the other guys.”
The race takes place tomorrow morning Australian time.
RESULTS – Qualifying Pocono IndyCar 400:
1 Marco Andretti 1:21.3473 221.273 MPH
2 Ryan Hunter-Reay 1:21.4877 220.892 MPH
3 James Hinchcliffe 1:21.6583 220.431 MPH
4 Will Power 1:21.7118 220.286 MPH
5 Tony Kanaan 1:21.9577 219.625 MPH
6 Helio Castroneves 1:21.9742 219.581MPH
7 Scott Dixon 1:22.0044 219.500 MPH
8 Takuma Sato 1:22.1453 219.124 MPH
9 Simon Pagenaud 1:22.2448 218.859 MPH
10 Simona De Silvestro 1:22.3458 218.590 MPH
11 Tristan Vautier (R) 1:22.3516 218.575 MPH
12 Sebastien Bourdais 1:22.3735 218.517 MPH
13 Charlie Kimball 1:22.4383 218.345 MPH
14 James Jakes 1:22.4780 218.240 MPH
15 Ed Carpenter 1:22.5310 218.100 MPH
16 Josef Newgarden 1:22.6324 217.832 MPH
17 Graham Rahal 1:22.7749 217.457 MPH
18 Dario Franchitti 1:22.9314 217.047 MPH
19 Pippa Mann 1:22.9570 216.980 MPH
20 Justin Wilson 1:22.9981 216.872 MPH
21 Sebastian Saavedra 1:23.4997 215.570 MPH
22 E.J. Viso No Time No Speed
23 Ryan Briscoe No Time No Speed
24 Alex Tagliani No Time No Speed