Will Power celebrates yet another pole position Honestly, can anyone stop the Will Power juggernaut? The Australian has managed to take his Penske entry to yet another IndyCar pole position to continue his unbeaten qualifying streak in 2011, this time doing the honours on the São Paulo street circuit ahead of Sunday’s second running of the Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300.

Power has clinched pole position at St Petersburg, Barber Motorsports Park and Long Beach, and he was again the benchmark for the rest of the grid, going quickest in every qualifying session until cruising to pole with a lap that was some 0.4 seconds faster than any of his other five rivals in the ‘Fast Six’ shootout.

And while it was a case of ‘Power first, daylight second’, the gap covering his other ‘Fast Six’ rivals was much closer, with just nine-hundredths of a second covering Ryan Will PowerHunter-Reay, Scott Dixon and Power’s Penske team-mate Ryan Briscoe from second to fourth places.

Graham Rahal’s troubled season to-date looks as though it may turn a corner in Brazil, with the Ganassi driver making his first ‘Fast Six’ shootout of the season. He will start from fifth place alongside Ganassi team-mate and defending champion Dario Franchitti.

Disappointingly for the parochial home crowd – which may enjoy a second race in the country from 2012, according to recent reports – not one of the grid’s five Brazilians made the final qualifying round, with Hélio Castroneves (Penske) just missing the cut with the seventh-quickest time in the second round of qualifying. Vitor Meira (Foyt) and Tony Kanaan (KV Racing) will start from the midfield, while Ana Beatriz (D&R) – still nursing a broken wrist – was slowest in her qualifying group.

Behind Castroneves, the top-ten was completed by Justin Wilson (D&R), Long beach race-winner Mike Conway (Andretti) and former F1 driver Takuma Sato (KV), who made his first top-ten appearance in 2011.

Circuit rookies James Hinchliffe (Newman/Haas) and Sébastien Bourdais (Dale Coyne) are starting from the sixth row, with the latter giving his best performance in 2011 on his return to the American racing scene.Viso took no part in qualifying after damaging his KV Racing entry in final practice

A few surprise poor performers were Simona di Silvestro and Oriol Servià, who both qualified well down the order despite their recent form.

KV Racing’s EJ Viso did not take part in qualifying after a practice accident caused by a brake failure. He will start the race from last position.


2011 Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 Qualifying Results:

Driver Team Time
1. Will Power AUS Team Penske 1:21.8958  
2. Ryan Hunter-Reay USA Andretti Autosport 1:22.2975 + 0.4017
3. Scott Dixon NZL Chip Ganassi 1:22.3620 + 0.4662
4. Ryan Briscoe AUS Team Penske 1:22.3937 + 0.4979
5. Graham Rahal USA Chip Ganassi 1:22.4970 + 0.6012
6. Dario Franchitti GBR Chip Ganassi 1:22.6103 + 0.7145
7. Hélio Castroneves BRZ Team Penske 1:22.6283 (Round 2)
8. Justin Wilson GBR Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 1:22.6471 (Round 2)
9. Mike Conway GBR Andretti Autosport 1:22.6986 (Round 2)
10. Takuma Sato JPN KV Racing Technology Lotus 1:22.7379 (Round 2)
11. James Hinchcliffe CDN Newman/Haas Racing 1:22.8450 (Round 2)
12. Sébastien Bourdais FRA Dale Coyne Racing 1:22.9084 (Round 2)
13. Simona di Silvestro SUI HVM Racing 1:23.6807 (Group 1)
14. Vitor Meira BRZ AJ Foyt Enterprises 1:23.3196 (Group 2)
15. Tony Kanaan BRZ KV Racing Technology Lotus 1:23.6838 (Group 1)
16. Oriol Servià ESP Newman/Haas Racing 1:23.4015 (Group 2)
17. Marco Andretti USA Andretti Autosport 1:23.7682 (Group 1)
18. Charlie Kimball USA Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi 1:23.7126 (Group 2)
19. Danica Patrick USA Andretti Autosport 1:24.0967 (Group 1)
20. Alex Tagliani CDN Sam Schmidt Motorsports 1:23.7801 (Group 2)
21. Raphael Matos BRZ AFS Racing 1:24.1890 (Group 1)
22. JR Hildebrand USA Panther Racing 1:23.8443 (Group 2)
23. Sebastian Saavedra COL Conquest Racing 1:24.2963 (Group 1)
24. James Jakes GBR Dale Coyne Racing 1:23.8482 (Group 2)
25. Ana Beatriz BRZ Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 1:24.8246 (Group 1)
26. EJ Viso VEN KV Racing Technology Lotus no time (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.