Will Power claimed his seventh pole position of the season 

Continuing his red-hot form from last weekend’s Grand Prix of Sonoma, Will Power has boosted his hopes of taking another chunk of points out of the lead enjoyed by his main rival Dario Franchitti with pole position at the inaugural Grand Prix of Baltimore.

It had been a chaotic start to the weekend, with the first practice session delayed by four hours due to the temporary street circuit having not been completed.

Power’s ‘Fast Six’ hot lap of 1:20.2447 was just enough to edge out surprise pole contender Graham Rahal, who showed his best qualifying form in a long time in the Ganassi to claim the outside front row spot.

Power’s Penske tam-mate Ryan Briscoe will start from third place, edging out defending IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti in the second Ganassi entry. Franchitti could breathe a big sigh of relief that he even made it as far in qualifying, after he spun on his final hot lap in the first phase of qualifying. No one managed to beat the Scot’s time, which allowed him to sneak into the second top-twelve phase.

Sébastien Bourdais’ great road course form continued on his return to the championship, with the Frenchman posting his best qualifying performance of the season to claim fifth, while Ryan Hunter-Reay gave some hope to the Andretti team’s inconsistent qualifying form by claiming sixth, two spot ahead of team-mate Mike Conway.

Having made it into the country after last weekend’s dramas with US immigration officials, Simona de Silvestro had her best qualifying performance of the year by making the second phase of qualifying; she will start from twelfth place in her HVM entry.

Some of the more fancied runners struggled in qualifying, with the Newman/Haas duo of Oriol Servià and James Hinchcliffe failing to make it past the first phase of qualifying. The more established Andretti pairing of Marco Andretti and Danica Patrick were again mired down the order, and they will start from 23rd and 25th respectively.

Takuma Sato was stripped of his two fastest times – which would have been good enough to place him in the top-twelve phase – after he had a spin and stalled at Turn 3.

 

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2011 Indy Grand Prix of Baltimore Qualifying Results:

Driver Team Time  
1. Will Power AUS Team Penske 1:20.2447 (Fast Six)
2. Graham Rahal USA Service Central Chip Ganassi 1:20.3238 (Fast Six)
3. Ryan Briscoe AUS Team Penske 1:20.7023 (Fast Six)
4. Dario Franchitti GBR Target Chip Ganassi Racing 1:20.7118 (Fast Six)
5. Sébastien Bourdais FRA Dale Coyne Racing 1:20.9725 (Fast Six)
6. Ryan Hunter-Reay USA Andretti Autosport 1:21.0095 (Fast Six)
7. Hélio Castroneves BRZ Team Penske 1:20.8503 (Fast Six)
8. Mike Conway GBR Andretti Autosport 1:20.9078 (Round 2)
9. EJ Viso VEN KV Racing Technology Lotus 1:20.9416 (Round 2)
10. Scott Dixon NZL Target Chip Ganassi Racing 1:21.0617 (Round 2)
11. Tony Kanaan BRZ KV Racing Technology Lotus 1:21.3764 (Round 2)
12. Simona de Silvestro SUI HVM Racing 1:21.7385 (Round 2)
13. James Jakes GBR Dale Coyne Racing 1:21.6046 (Group 1)
14. Vitor Meira BRZ AJ Foyt Enterprises 1:21.9707 (Group 2)
15. Giorgio Pantano ITA Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 1:21.6857 (Group 1)
16. Oriol Servià ESP Newman/Haas Racing 1:21.9856 (Group 2)
17. James Hinchcliffe CDN Newman/Haas Racing 1:21.7882 (Group 1)
18. Charlie Kimball USA Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing 1:22.3963 (Group 2)
19. JR Hildebrand USA Panther Racing 1:22.0232 (Group 1)
20. Martin Plowman GBR AFS / Sam Schmidt Motorsports 1:22.5638 (Group 2)
21. Alex Tagliani CDN Sam Schmidt Motorsports 1:22.1596 (Group 1)
22. Ana Beatriz BRZ Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 1:22.9070 (Group 2)
23. Marco Andretti USA Andretti Autosport 1:22.8926 (Group 1)
24. Tomas Scheckter RSA Sam Schmidt / Dragon Racing 1:22.9769 (Group 2)
25. Danica Patrick USA Andretti Autosport 1:23.0159 (Group 1)
26. Sebastian Saavedra COL Conquest Racing 1:23.4736 (Group 2)
27. Ed Carpenter USA Sarah Fisher Racing 1:24.5361 (Group 1)
28. Takuma Sato JPN KV Racing Technology Lotus 1:25.3139 (Group 2)

[Images via IZOD IndyCar Series]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.

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