EJ Viso will start from pole position for the first of the two races at the Detroit Grand Prix

Dario Franchitti has displayed a remarkable U-turn in form to qualify fastest for this weekend’s opening Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle.

However, a grid penalty will mean that the Scot won’t get to start from pole position for Saturday’s opening race, with the honour instead going to EJ Viso.

Franchitti’s ten-place grid penalty comes about as a result of an unscheduled engine change performed by his Chip Ganassi Racing team during the previous round, the Indianapolis 500. As the Indy 500 does not enforce any grid penalties, they are carried over to the next race.

Also copping grid penalties from the Indianapolis 500 were Graham Rahal, Charlie Kimball and Josef Newgarden.

Frachitti’s performance was particularly impressive, especially given he had a near-miss with the street circuit’s wall and had to cop a drive-through penalty during the final ‘Fast Six’ qualifying session for a pit exit blend-line violation.

Mike Conway was impressive in his first outing for Dale Coyne RacingUltimately, his 1:19.3311 lap-time around the 2.3-mile circuit proved quick enough, edging out Viso by two-tenths of a second to claim the Verizon P1 Pole Award and the cash prize that goes with it.

Viso will share his front-row starting position with the very impressive Mike Conway (pictured right), who demonstrated his street-circuit prowess with a brilliant qualifying performance on his first ever outing with the Dale Coyne Racing team.

Another surprise performer was James Jakes, with the usually anonymous midfield racer making his first ever ‘Fast Six’ appearance. He will start from third, ahead of reigning champion Ryan Hunter Reay and Alex Tagliani.

The start of qualifying presented the first ‘Group’ runners with the extra challenge of a damp – albeit rapidly drying – circuit. Most of the field managed to survive the session without any major damage, and it took until the top-twelve phase before we had any real drama.

That came courtesy of Helio Castroneves, who spun his Team Penske Chevrolet at Turn 4. The corner was initially controlled under waved yellows before circuit officials eventually opted to bring out the red flags, much to the chagrin of several teams – particularly Schmidt Peterson Motorsport and AJ Foyt Enterprises – who argued that the unexpected stoppage ruined their prospects of qualifying inside the all-important top-six.

Saturday’s 70-lap race will be followed by a separate qualifying session to determine the grid order for Sunday’s race, which will be the first in the IndyCar Series’ history to have a standing start.

2013 IndyCar Series Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit – Race 1 Qualifying Results:

  ‘Fast 6’ Qualifiers   Entry / Team Result  
1. Dario Franchitti* Chip Ganassi Racing – Honda 1:19.3311 F6
2. E.J. Viso Team Venzuela – Chevrolet 1:19.5572 F6
3. Mike Conway Dale Coyne Racing – Honda 1:19.8285 F6
4. James Jakes Rahal Letterman Lanigan – Honda 1:19.9897 F6
5. Ryan Hunter-Reay USA Andretti Autosport – Chevrolet 1:20.0030 F6
6. Alex Tagliani CAN Barracuda Racing – Honda 1:20.3514 F6
  ‘Round 2’ Qualifiers   Entry / Team Result  
7. Tristan Vautier SPH – Honda 1:22.4497 T12
8. Takuma Sato AJ Foyt Enterprises – Honda 1:22.7164 T12
9. Simon Pagenaud SPH – Honda 1:22.9250 T12
10. Will Power AUS Team Penske – Chevrolet 1:22.9537 T12
11. Sebastián Saavedra Dragon Racing – Chevrolet 1:26.8058 T12
12. Hélio Castroneves BRA Team Penske – Chevrolet no time T12
  ‘Group’ Qualifiers   Entry / Team Result  
13. AJ Allmendinger USA Team Penske – Chevrolet 1:37.7163 G2
14. Graham Rahal* USA Rahal Letterman Lanigan – Honda 1:30.5258 G1
15. Sébastien Bourdais Dragon Racing – Chevrolet 1:37.8823 G1
16. Scott Dixon NZL Chip Ganassi Racing – Honda 1:30.6929 G2
17. Justin Wilson Dale Coyne Racing – Honda 1:37.8891 G1
18. Simona de Silvestro KV Racing Technology – Chevrolet 1:31.0623 G2
19. Marco Andretti USA Andretti Autosport – Chevrolet 1:38.0723 G2
20. Tony Kanaan BRA KV Racing Technology – Chevrolet 1:31.5555 T12
21. James Hinchcliffe CAN Andretti Autosport – Chevrolet 1:38.2000 T12
22. Ryan Briscoe AUS Panther Racing – Chevrolet 1:31.6222 T12
23. Josef Newgarden* USA Sarah Fisher Hartman – Honda 1:38.8651 G1
24. Ed Carpenter USA Ed Carpenter Racing – Chevrolet 1:33.3912 G2
25. Charlie Kimball* USA Chip Ganassi Racing – Honda 1:44.0316 G1

Get Adobe Flash player

Matthew Lennon
The following two tabs change content below.

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.