Will Power has claimed pole position for the opening IndyCar race at St Petersburg

Will Power has claimed his fourth successive pole position on the streets of St Petersburg as the 2013 IndyCar Series championship officially kicks off this weekend.

It was a session full of surprise performances, but Power kept his head to notch up the thirtieth IndyCar Series pole position of his career, made all the better by breaking the circuit lap record en route to doing so.

Joining him on the front row is Takuma Sato, who performed impressively in his first outing for the AJ Foyt Enterprises team as he seeks his maiden IndyCar race win.

But perhaps the biggest plaudits should be reserved for Simona de Silvestro, who has been simply sensational in her first race appearance for the KV Racing team. The ‘Swiss Missile’ was an incredible third-quickest, claiming a career-best qualifying result at the same circuit where she claimed a near-podium finish two years before.

James Hinchliffe was the only one of the Andretti Autosport drivers to make it into the ‘Fast Six’ battle for pole position – the Canadian starts fourth, while team-mates Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay managed seventh and eighth on the grid, respectively.

Power’s Penske teammate Hélio Castroneves was fifth-fastest, while IndyCar rookie Tristan Vautier was a very creditable sixth-quickest in his championship debut.

The surprise performance had their moment in the sun at the expense of the championship’s more seasoned performed.

The Chip Ganassi team were a little off the pace, with Dario Franchitti the best of the team’s three runners in tenth-fastest.

Sébastien Bourdais was another high-profile casualty. The Frenchman’s runs were compromised by traffic and he couldn’t make it out of the first group phase – he starts Sunday’s race from 21st place.

2013 IndyCar Series Grand Prix of St Petersburg Final Qualifying Results:

No. Driver   Entry / Team Result  
1. Will Power AUS Team Penske – Chevrolet 1:01.2070 F6
2. Takuma Sato AJ Foyt Enterprises – Honda 1:01.5776 F6
3. Simona de Silvestro KV Racing Technology – Chevrolet 1:01.7670 F6
4. James Hinchcliffe CAN Andretti Autosport – Chevrolet 1:01.8229 F6
5. Hélio Castroneves BRA Team Penske – Chevrolet 1:01.8991 F6
6. Tristan Vautier SPH – Honda 1:02.0645 F6
7. Marco Andretti USA Andretti Autosport – Chevrolet 1:01.6883 R2
8. Ryan Hunter-Reay USA Andretti Autosport – Chevrolet 1:01.7339 R2
9. Sebastián Saavedra Dragon Racing – Chevrolet 1:01.7944 R2
10. Dario Franchitti Chip Ganassi Racing – Honda 1:01.8150 R2
11. Tony Kanaan BRA KV Racing Technology – Chevrolet 1:01.9139 R2
12. Oriol Servià Panther / D&R – Chevrolet 1:02.1483 R2
13. Justin Wilson Dale Coyne Racing – Honda 1:02.2177 G1
14. Charlie Kimball USA Chip Ganassi Racing – Honda 1:02.1198 G2
15. Graham Rahal USA Rahal Letterman Lanigan – Honda 1:02.2709 G1
16. Josef Newgarden USA Sarah Fisher Hartman – Honda 1:02.1592 G2
17. Alex Tagliani CAN Barracuda Racing – Honda 1:02.3328 G1
18. James Jakes Rahal Letterman Lanigan – Honda 1:02.1658 G2
19. Simon Pagenaud SPH – Honda09 1:02.4736 G1
20. Scott Dixon NZL Chip Ganassi Racing – Honda 1:02.1715 G2
21. Sébastien Bourdais Dragon Racing – Chevrolet 1:02.6537 G1
22. E.J. Viso Team Venzuela – Chevrolet 1:02.1986 G2
23. Ed Carpenter USA Ed Carpenter Racing – Chevrolet 1:02.6634 G1
24. JR Hildebrand USA Panther Racing – Chevrolet 1:02.3179 G2
25. Ana Beatriz BRA Dale Coyne Racing – Honda 1:03.2551 G1

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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.