Will Power has claimed his fourth successive pole position on the streets of St Petersburg as the 2013 IndyCar Series championship officially kicks off this weekend.
It was a session full of surprise performances, but Power kept his head to notch up the thirtieth IndyCar Series pole position of his career, made all the better by breaking the circuit lap record en route to doing so.
Joining him on the front row is Takuma Sato, who performed impressively in his first outing for the AJ Foyt Enterprises team as he seeks his maiden IndyCar race win.
But perhaps the biggest plaudits should be reserved for Simona de Silvestro, who has been simply sensational in her first race appearance for the KV Racing team. The ‘Swiss Missile’ was an incredible third-quickest, claiming a career-best qualifying result at the same circuit where she claimed a near-podium finish two years before.
James Hinchliffe was the only one of the Andretti Autosport drivers to make it into the ‘Fast Six’ battle for pole position – the Canadian starts fourth, while team-mates Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay managed seventh and eighth on the grid, respectively.
Power’s Penske teammate Hélio Castroneves was fifth-fastest, while IndyCar rookie Tristan Vautier was a very creditable sixth-quickest in his championship debut.
The surprise performance had their moment in the sun at the expense of the championship’s more seasoned performed.
The Chip Ganassi team were a little off the pace, with Dario Franchitti the best of the team’s three runners in tenth-fastest.
Sébastien Bourdais was another high-profile casualty. The Frenchman’s runs were compromised by traffic and he couldn’t make it out of the first group phase – he starts Sunday’s race from 21st place.
2013 IndyCar Series Grand Prix of St Petersburg Final Qualifying Results:
|No.||Driver||Entry / Team||Result|
|1.||Will Power||Team Penske – Chevrolet||1:01.2070||F6|
|2.||Takuma Sato||AJ Foyt Enterprises – Honda||1:01.5776||F6|
|3.||Simona de Silvestro||KV Racing Technology – Chevrolet||1:01.7670||F6|
|4.||James Hinchcliffe||Andretti Autosport – Chevrolet||1:01.8229||F6|
|5.||Hélio Castroneves||Team Penske – Chevrolet||1:01.8991||F6|
|6.||Tristan Vautier||SPH – Honda||1:02.0645||F6|
|7.||Marco Andretti||Andretti Autosport – Chevrolet||1:01.6883||R2|
|8.||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport – Chevrolet||1:01.7339||R2|
|9.||Sebastián Saavedra||Dragon Racing – Chevrolet||1:01.7944||R2|
|10.||Dario Franchitti||Chip Ganassi Racing – Honda||1:01.8150||R2|
|11.||Tony Kanaan||KV Racing Technology – Chevrolet||1:01.9139||R2|
|12.||Oriol Servià||Panther / D&R – Chevrolet||1:02.1483||R2|
|13.||Justin Wilson||Dale Coyne Racing – Honda||1:02.2177||G1|
|14.||Charlie Kimball||Chip Ganassi Racing – Honda||1:02.1198||G2|
|15.||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan – Honda||1:02.2709||G1|
|16.||Josef Newgarden||Sarah Fisher Hartman – Honda||1:02.1592||G2|
|17.||Alex Tagliani||Barracuda Racing – Honda||1:02.3328||G1|
|18.||James Jakes||Rahal Letterman Lanigan – Honda||1:02.1658||G2|
|19.||Simon Pagenaud||SPH – Honda09||1:02.4736||G1|
|20.||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing – Honda||1:02.1715||G2|
|21.||Sébastien Bourdais||Dragon Racing – Chevrolet||1:02.6537||G1|
|22.||E.J. Viso||Team Venzuela – Chevrolet||1:02.1986||G2|
|23.||Ed Carpenter||Ed Carpenter Racing – Chevrolet||1:02.6634||G1|
|24.||JR Hildebrand||Panther Racing – Chevrolet||1:02.3179||G2|
|25.||Ana Beatriz||Dale Coyne Racing – Honda||1:03.2551||G1|