Ryan Briscoe gets the bonus point - bot not pole position - at Long Beach

Australian driver Ryan Briscoe has claimed a ‘moral’ pole position for Sunday’s IndyCar Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, but the Team Penske driver – along with a further thirteen drivers – will be forced to take a grid penalty under the championship’s rules. The grid reshuffling means that reigning champion Dario Franchitti will start from pole position.

Fans have been baying for series officials’ blood when it was announced that all eleven Chevrolet runners and three Lotus-engined drivers would take a ten-place grid penalty for tomorrow’s race.

The story stems from Chevrolet discovered a fault in one engine, which was then discovered in all of its V6 units. Under competition rules, if the engines have not yet hit their mandated minimum running mileage of 1,850 miles, then a grid penalty is enforced for the following round.

The grid penalties means Franchitti will start from pole positionThe decision played straight into the hands of the Honda-powered runners, who will now occupy the first nine places for the race’s rolling start.

Franchitti was the only non-Chevrolet driver who made it into the ‘Fast Six’ phase of qualifying, meaning that pole position was assured for the Chip Ganassi driver.

But with a championship point up for grabs for the driver who could post the fastest time, it still remained a closely-fought contest.

Briscoe’s time of 1:08.6089 came in the dying seconds of the session, and his effort bumped provision ‘pole-sitter’, Penske team-mate Will Power, into second with Ryan Hunter-Reay third.

The host of grid penalties means that IndyCar rookie Josef Newgarden will start on the front row alongside Franchitti in his Sarah Fisher Hartman entry, the youngster having narrowly missed out on a ‘Fast Six’ berth.

The second row will be shared by Justin Wilson (Dale Coyne) and the impressive Simon Pagenaud (Schmidt Hamilton), while Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi) and Takuma Sato (RLL) claim the third row.

Dixon was lucky to qualify as well as he did after his Honda-powered entry developed a dramatic gearbox oil fire in the second phase of qualifying.


2012 IndyCar Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Qualifying Results:

  Driver Entrant Result  
1. Ryan Briscoe* AUS Team Penske Chevrolet 1:08.6089 ‘Fast Six’
2. Will Power* AUS Team Penske Chevrolet 1:08.7073 ‘Fast Six’
3. Ryan Hunter-Reay* USA Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 1:08.7163 ‘Fast Six’
4. Dario Franchitti GBR Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 1:09.0327 ‘Fast Six’
5. EJ Viso* VEN KV Racing Technology Chevrolet 1:09.0634 ‘Fast Six’
6. James Hinchcliffe* CAN Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 1:09.2109 ‘Fast Six’
7. Josef Newgarden USA Sarah Fisher Hartman Honda 1:09.0697 Top-12
8. Hélio Castroneves* BRA Team Penske Chevrolet 1:09.0846 Top-12
9. Justin Wilson GBR Dale Coyne Racing Honda 1:09.0910 Top-12
10. Tony Kanaan* BRA KV Racing Technology Chevrolet 1:09.1987 Top-12
11. Simon Pagenaud FRA Schmidt Hamilton Honda 1:09.2078 Top-12
12. Scott Dixon NZL Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 1:09.3658 Top-12
13. Takuma Sato JPN Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 1:09.9000 Group 1
14. Mike Conway GBR AJ Foyt Enterprises Honda 1:09.8868 Group 2
15. Graham Rahal USA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 1:09.9796 Group 1
16. JR Hildebrand* USA Panther Racing Chevrolet 1:10.3794 Group 2
17. Charlie Kimball USA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 1:10.0188 Group 1
18. Marco Andretti* USA Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 1:10.5939 Group 2
19. Rubens Barrichello* BRA KV Racing Technology Chevrolet 1:10.0651 Group 1
20. Oriol Servià* ESP Dreyer & Reinbold Lotus 1:10.6835 Group 2
21. Alex Tagliani CAN Lotus-BHA Lotus 1:10.8168 Group 1
22. James Jakes GBR Dale Coyne Racing Honda 1:10.7579 Group 2
23. Ed Carpenter* USA Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 1:11.4159 Group 1
24. Sébastien Bourdais* FRA Lotus-Dragon Racing Lotus 1:10.8154 Group 2
25. Katherine Legge* GBR Lotus-Dragon Racing Lotus 1:12.1142 Group 1
26. Simona de Silvestro SUI Lotus-HVM Racing Lotus 1:12.0590 Group 2

* Denotes ten-place grid penalty for an engine change


With all of the grid penalties, tomorrow’s starting grid will look as follows:

1. Dario Franchitti GBR        
  Chip Ganassi Racing Honda   2. Josef Newgarden USA
          Sarah Fisher Hartman Honda
             
3. Justin Wilson GBR        
  Dale Coyne Racing Honda   4. Simon Pagenaud FRA
          Schmidt Hamilton Honda
             
5. Scott Dixon NZL        
  Chip Ganassi Racing Honda   6. Takuma Sato JPN
          Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
             
7. Mike Conway GBR        
  AJ Foyt Enterprises Honda   8. Graham Rahal USA
          Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
             
9. Charlie Kimball USA        
  Chip Ganassi Racing Honda   10. Alex Tagliani CAN
          Lotus-BHA Lotus
             
11. Ryan Briscoe* AUS        
  Team Penske Chevrolet   12. Will Power* AUS
          Team Penske Chevrolet
             
13. Ryan Hunter-Reay* USA        
  Andretti Autosport Chevrolet   14. James Jakes GBR
          Dale Coyne Racing Honda
             
15. EJ Viso* VEN        
  KV Racing Technology Chevrolet   16. James Hinchcliffe* CAN
          Andretti Autosport Chevrolet
             
17. Simona de Silvestro SUI        
  Lotus-HVM Racing Lotus   18. Hélio Castroneves* BRA
          Team Penske Chevrolet
             
19. Tony Kanaan* BRA        
  KV Racing Technology Chevrolet   20. JR Hildebrand* USA
          Panther Racing Chevrolet
             
21. Marco Andretti* USA        
  Andretti Autosport Chevrolet   22. Rubens Barrichello* BRA
          KV Racing Technology Chevrolet
             
23. Oriol Servià* ESP        
  Dreyer & Reinbold Lotus   24. Ed Carpenter* USA
          Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
             
25. Sébastien Bourdais* FRA        
  Lotus-Dragon Racing Lotus   26. Katherine Legge* GBR
          Lotus-Dragon Racing Lotus




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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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