Will Power’s excellent start to the 2012 IndyCar Series championship season continues, with the Australian claiming pole position for Sunday’s fourth round of the championship, the Itaipava Indy 300 on the streets of São Paulo.

The Penske driver – who was the only member of his team to make the final ‘Fast Six’ phase of qualifying – narrowly edged out Chip Ganassi duo Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon for top spot, earning him a nice $10,000 purse and a bonus championship point for his efforts.

Franchitti backed up his Long Beach qualifying form with a front-row berth, just missing out on the pole by four-hundredths of a second around the bumpy street circuit. Dixon was a further four-tenths behind.

The Andretti Autosport team enjoyed a good qualifying session, getting three of its drivers into the top-twelve and seeing two of them – James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay – make the final pole shootout. The pair will start fourth and fifth, respectively.

Dale Coyne Racing driver Justin Wilson also showed how well he’s settled back into the team by qualifying sixth-fastest, making it three Honda and three Chevrolet entries in the top-six.

Josef Newgarden finished ninth-fastest and the fastest rookie driver in his Sarah Fisher Hartman entry, one spot ahead of Ryan Briscoe, who rounded out the top ten.

Plenty of local support and TV viewership did little to help the fortunes of the field’s four Brazilian drivers, with all but knocked out in the first phase of qualifying. KV Racing’s Tony Kanaan was the only one to make it into the second phase of qualifying, but he was slowest of all in that group and will start twelfth.

Team-mate Rubens Barrichello will be disappointed with his 16th-fastest effort on home soil; he starts one spot ahead of Hélio Castroneves, who hit the wall in the day’s earlier practice session.

Making a one-off street circuit appearance before her tilt at the Indianapolis 500, Ana Beatriz qualified her Andretti/Conquest entry 22nd-fastest, and the slowest non-Lotus runner to post a qualifying time.

Takuma Sato will start his Rahal Letterman Lanigan car from the back of the grid, failing to post a time while his mechanics changed his Honda engine.


2012 IndyCar Series Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 Qualifying Results:

  Driver Entrant Result  
1. Will Power AUS Team Penske Chevrolet 1:21.4045 ‘Fast Six’
2. Dario Franchitti GBR Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 1:21.4485 ‘Fast Six’
3. Scott Dixon NZL Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 1:21.8545 ‘Fast Six’
4. James Hinchcliffe CAN Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 1:21.9956 ‘Fast Six’
5. Ryan Hunter-Reay USA Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 1:22.2408 ‘Fast Six’
6. Justin Wilson GBR Dale Coyne Racing Honda 1:22.2681 ‘Fast Six’
7. Graham Rahal USA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 1:22.0972 Top-12
8. Mike Conway GBR AJ Foyt Enterprises Honda 1:22.7082 Top-12
9. Josef Newgarden USA Sarah Fisher Hartman Honda 1:22.7301 Top-12
10. Ryan Briscoe AUS Team Penske Chevrolet 1:22.4404 Top-12
11. Marco Andretti USA Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 1:22.8320 Top-12
12. Tony Kanaan BRA KV Racing Technology Chevrolet 1:23.1766 Top-12
13. EJ Viso VEN KV Racing Technology Chevrolet 1:22.1404 Group 2
14. Charlie Kimball USA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 1:22.1973 Group 1
15. James Jakes GBR Dale Coyne Racing Honda 1:22.380 Group 2
16. Rubens Barrichello BRA KV Racing Technology Chevrolet 1:22.3939 Group 1
17. Hélio Castroneves BRA Team Penske Chevrolet 1:22.4143 Group 2
18. JR Hildebrand USA Panther Racing Chevrolet 1:22.4321 Group 1
19. Simon Pagenaud FRA Schmidt Hamilton Honda 1:22.4354 Group 2
20. Ed Carpenter USA Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 1:22.9424 Group 1
21. Sébastien Bourdais FRA Lotus-Dragon Racing Lotus 1:23.1331 Group 2
22. Ana Beatriz BRA Andretti / Conquest Chevrolet 1:23.2692 Group 1
23. Oriol Servià ESP Dreyer & Reinbold Lotus 1:23.4509 Group 2
24. Simona de Silvestro SUI Lotus-HVM Racing Lotus 1:23.6762 Group 1
25. Katherine Legge GBR Lotus-Dragon Racing Lotus 1:24.6042 Group 1
26. Takuma Sato JPN Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda no time Group 2

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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.