Scott Dixon has claimed the 16th pole position of his IndyCar career after a commanding performance in qualifying for the Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.
The New Zealander was quickest in each of the three stages of qualifying, posting a time of 1:08.0776 early in the final ‘Fast Six’ pole position shootout that no one else could come close to matching.
The ‘Fast Six’ was a session dominated by the Chip Ganassi squad, which had three of its four cars in the final qualifying phase, while Penske claimed two of the remaining spots.
And continuing with the ‘bridesmaid’ theme in qualifying, Dixon shares the front row with Penske’s Ryan Briscoe, while the main championship protagonists, Dario Franchitti and Will Power, occupy the second row of the grid.
Ryan Hunter-Reay, who was the pacesetter in final practice, qualified fifth-fastest ahead of hometown hero Graham Rahal, who will be looking to repeat his father Bobby’s heroics at this very circuit.
Rookie driver James Hinchcliffe was unlucky to miss out on a berth in the ‘Fast Six’, having narrowly been pipped to the post by Briscoe in the ‘Round 2’ qualifying phase, which runs the fastest six drivers from each of the ‘Group’ sessions. The Canadian shares the fourth row of the starting grid with his countryman Alex Tagliani.
The fifth row is occupied by Edmonton pole-sitter Takuma Sato, who starts alongside Charlie Kimball, who ensured that all four Ganassi entries qualified inside the top ten. The top twelve was completed by Sébastien Bourdais and EJ Viso.
Aside from Hunter-Reay’s heroics, it was another bad result in qualifying for the Andretti squad, with its other three drivers – Mike Conway (17th), Marco Andretti (21st) and Danica Patrick (23rd) – all eliminated in the opening phase of qualifying.
Hélio Castroneves (Penske) and Oriol Servià (Newman/Haas) also found themselves having an early bath, after both struggled to get their set-up sorted in the cooler than expected conditions.
Kudos to Simon Pagenaud, who qualified his Dreyer & Reinbold entry in 18th place despite no running in the car, having been called up as a late substitute for Justin Wilson, who was injured in a crash during the day’s practice session.
2011 Honda Indy Edmonton Qualifying Results:
|1.||Scott Dixon||Target Chip Ganassi Racing||1:08.0776||(Fast Six)|
|2.||Ryan Briscoe||Team Penske||1:08.3359||(Fast Six)|
|3.||Dario Franchitti||Target Chip Ganassi Racing||1:08.4016||(Fast Six)|
|4.||Will Power||Team Penske||1:08.4212||(Fast Six)|
|5.||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport||1:08.5796||(Fast Six)|
|6.||Graham Rahal||Service Central Chip Ganassi||1:08.7423||(Fast Six)|
|7.||James Hinchcliffe||Newman/Haas Racing||1:08.7701||(Round 2)|
|8.||Alex Tagliani||Sam Schmidt Motorsports||1:08.8412||(Round 2)|
|9.||Takuma Sato||KV Racing Technology Lotus||1:08.8653||(Round 2)|
|10.||Charlie Kimball||Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing||1:08.8655||(Round 2)|
|11.||Sébastien Bourdais||Dale Coyne Racing||1:08.9115||(Round 2)|
|12.||EJ Viso||KV Racing Technology Lotus||1:08.9427||(Round 2)|
|13.||JR Hildebrand||Panther Racing||1:09.4161||(Group 1)|
|14.||Simona de Silvestro||HVM Racing||1:09.3009||(Group 2)|
|15.||Hélio Castroneves||Team Penske||1:09.4369||(Group 1)|
|16.||Tony Kanaan||KV Racing Technology Lotus||1:09.3013||(Group 2)|
|17.||Mike Conway||Andretti Autosport||1:09.4904||(Group 1)|
|18.||Simon Pagenaud||Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||1:09.3851||(Group 2)|
|19.||Vitor Meira||AJ Foyt Enterprises||1:09.6061||(Group 1)|
|20.||Oriol Servià||Newman/Haas Racing||1:09.4935||(Group 2)|
|21.||Marco Andretti||Andretti Autosport||1:09.6059||(Group 1)|
|22.||Sebastian Saavedra||Conquest Racing||1:09.7105||(Group 2)|
|23.||Danica Patrick||Andretti Autosport||1:10.2166||(Group 1)|
|24.||James Jakes||Dale Coyne Racing||1:09.8061||(Group 2)|
|25.||Ana Beatriz||Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||1:10.4537||(Group 1)|
|26.||Martin Plowman||Sam Schmidt / AFS Racing||1:10.2533||(Group 2)|
|27.||Ed Carpenter||Sarah Fisher Racing||1:12.3720||(Group 1)|