Takuma Sato has qualified on pole for the Barber Motorsports Park IndyCar race as Team Penske and Andretti Autosport both missed the Fast Six entirely.
Sato (#30 Honda) knocked Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team-mate Graham Rahal (#15 Honda) off top spot in the latter seconds with his only flyer on red tyres, having started the final stanza on blacks.
The Japanese driver’s 1:08.5934s pit him just over a tenth of a second clear of Rahal, while the second row will be Scott Dixon (#9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) and James Hinchcliffe (#5 Schmidt Peterson Honda).
Sebastien Bourdais (#18 DCR w/ Vasser-Sullivan Honda) was fifth at a touch over four tenths off the pace, while Spencer Pigot was the only Chevrolet driver in the final six in the #21 Ed Carpenter Racing entry.
Will Power, who was on pole for each of the first two races of the season, qualified seventh in the #12 Team Penske Chevrolet, while his team-mates Simon Pagenaud (#22 Chevrolet) and Josef Newgarden (#2 Chevrolet) were only 14th and 16th respectively.
Power had made a minor error on his first flying lap in the second phase of qualifying which proved costly when he couldn’t extract the time he needed on the next tour of the sweeping road course.
Sharing Row 4 with the Australian is the first of the Andretti Autosport entries in the #27 Honda of Alexander Rossi.
Last start winner Colton Herta (#88 Harding Steinbrenner Racing Honda) and fellow rookie Santino Ferrucci (#19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda) round out the top 10.
The 90-lap race starts tomorrow at 0600 AEST.
Starting grid: Barber Motorsports Park
|1||30||Takuma Sato||D/H/F||1:08.5934||Fast Six|
|2||15||Graham Rahal||D/H/F||1:08.6971||Fast Six|
|3||9||Scott Dixon||D/H/F||1:08.8081||Fast Six|
|4||5||James Hinchcliffe||D/H/F||1:08.8476||Fast Six|
|5||18||Sebastien Bourdais||D/H/F||1:09.0189||Fast Six|
|6||21||Spencer Pigot||D/C/F||1:09.6074||Fast Six|
|7||12||Will Power||D/C/F||1:08.8248||Top 12|
|8||27||Alexander Rossi||D/H/F||1:08.8866||Top 12|
|9||88||Colton Herta (R)||D/H/F||1:08.9130||Top 12|
|10||19||Santino Ferrucci (R)||D/H/F||1:09.0213||Top 12|
|11||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||D/H/F||1:09.0764||Top 12|
|12||60||Jack Harvey||D/H/F||1:09.2967||Top 12|
|13||98||Marco Andretti||D/H/F||1:08.8950||Group 1|
|14||22||Simon Pagenaud||D/C/F||1:08.7943||Group 2|
|15||4||Matheus Leist||D/C/F||1:08.9477||Group 1|
|16||2||Josef Newgarden||D/C/F||1:08.8700||Group 2|
|17||10||Felix Rosenqvist (R)||D/H/F||1:08.9630||Group 1|
|18||31||Patricio O’Ward (R)||D/C/F||1:08.9011||Group 2|
|19||14||Tony Kanaan||D/C/F||1:09.0327||Group 1|
|20||7||Marcus Ericsson (R)||D/H/F||1:08.9226||Group 2|
|21||20||Ed Jones||D/C/F||1:09.0441||Group 1|
|22||59||Max Chilton||D/C/F||1:09.0566||Group 2|
|23||26||Zach Veach||D/H/F||1:09.4478||Group 1|
|24||81||Ben Hanley (R)||D/C/F||1:10.4165||Group 2|
(C)hassis: D=Dallara | (E)ngine: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (T)yre: F=Firestone