Takuma Sato took his first IndyCar pole Takuma Sato has secured the first pole position of his IndyCar career, after lapping the Iowa Speedway quickest in qualifying for the Iowa Corn Indy 250 round. The result marked the first ever pole position for the Japanese driver in the history of the IndyCar championship series.

Sato’s Group Lotus-backed KV Racing outfit has looked solid on short-course ovals, and it proved true to form again with his team-mate Tony Kanaan qualifying third-fastest after holding provisional pole earlier in the session.

In a weekend of upset results, Danica Patrick qualified on the front row alongside Sato, marking the Andretti team – and Patrick’s – best result all season.

JR Hildebrand continued the surprise results by qualifying his Panther Racing entry in fourth place to relegate the championship-leading Penske and Ganassi entries off the first two rows of the starting grid.

Looking to the third row of the grid, and it’s joint championship leaders Will Power and Dario Franchitti who will start alongside one another. Power’s Penske team-mates Ryan Briscoe and Hélio Castroneves qualified tenth and thirteenth respectively, while Franchitti’s Ganassi team-mates Graham Rahal (20th), Charlie Kimball (21st) and Scott Dixon (23rd) all struggled in qualifying.

Simona de Silvestro was withdrawn from the event after an earlier medical examination confirmed she was still suffering from the after-effects from her practice accident at last weekend’s Milwaukee Grand Prix.


2011 Iowa Corn Indy 250 Qualifying Results:

Driver Team Avg Speed
1. Takuma Sato JPN KV Racing Technology Lotus 180.375mph
2. Danica Patrick USA Andretti Autosport 180.210mph
3. Tony Kanaan BRZ KV Racing Technology Lotus 179.833mph
4. JR Hildebrand USA Panther Racing 179.569mph
5. Will Power AUS Team Penske 179.474mph
6. Dario Franchitti GBR Target Chip Ganassi Racing 179.474mph
7. James Hinchcliffe CDN Newman/Haas Racing 179.385mph
8. Ryan Hunter-Reay USA Andretti Autosport 179.305mph
9. Mike Conway GBR Andretti Autosport 179.185mph
10. Ryan Briscoe AUS Team Penske 178.771mph
11. Justin Wilson GBR Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 178.742mph
12. Oriol Servià ESP Newman/Haas Racing 178.631mph
13. Hélio Castroneves BRZ Team Penske 178.570mph
14. Ed Carpenter USA Sarah Fisher Racing 178.510mph
15. Alex Tagliani CDN Sam Schmidt Motorsports 178.426mph
16. Vitor Meira BRZ AJ Foyt Enterprises 178.365mph
17. Marco Andretti USA Andretti Autosport 178.165mph
18. Ana Beatriz BRZ Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 177.821mph
19. EJ Viso VEN KV Racing Technology Lotus 177.680mph
20. Graham Rahal USA Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing 177.509mph
21. Charlie Kimball USA Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi 177.280mph
22. Alex Lloyd GBR Dale Coyne Racing 177.257mph
23. Scott Dixon NZL Target Chip Ganassi Racing 175.784mph
24. James Jakes GBR Dale Coyne Racing 173.365mph
25. Sebastian Saavedra COL Conquest Racing no time
26. Simona de Silvestro SUI HVM Racing withdrew

[Image 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.