The Andretti Autosport stable shows no signs of slowing down, with the team dominating qualifying on the IndyCar Series’ return to Pocono.
With the ever-improving Marco Andretti heading teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe on the timesheets, it was the first time since the 1988 Indianapolis 500 that a team had secured a three-wide front-row lockout.
Team Penske maintained its ‘best of the rest’ position, with its two cars securing spots on the second row of the grid: Will Power was fourth-fastest, while teammate and championship leader Helio Castroneves was sixth.
The pair sandwiched Tony Kanaan in the first of the KV Racing entries, with the team enjoying a good qualifying performance courtesy of the Brazilian’s teammate Simona de Silvestro turning around a poor run of qualifying performances with a top-ten effort.
With Chevrolet-powered cars occupying the first two rows of the grid for Sunday’s 400-mile race, it was a bad day for Honda, which saw five of its runners – Chip Ganassi’s Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti, Dale Coyne Racing’s Justin Wilson and Pippa Mann, and BHA’s Alex Tagliani – hit with ten-place grid penalties for unauthorised engine changes.
The best Honda runner was Scott Dixon in seventh place, but his grid penalty gives that title to Takuma Sato, who will start from the inside of the third row alongside Simon Pagenaud and de Silvestro.
A couple of notable drivers came to grief around the challenging, high-banked oval. EJ Viso collected the barriers on his second flying lap, while Alex Tagliani didn’t even manage to complete a first timed lap in his two-lap outing, clouting the SAFER barriers at Turn 1.
Panther Racing substitute Ryan Briscoe will also start from the rear of the field, being unable to participate in qualifying due to his American Le Mans Series commitments on the same day at Lime Rock.
2013 IndyCar Series Pocono 400 Final Qualifying Results:
|Driver||Entry / Team||Average Speed|
|1.||Marco Andretti||Andretti Autosport||221.273mph|
|2.||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport||220.892mph|
|3.||James Hinchcliffe||Andretti Autosport||220.431mph|
|4.||Will Power||Team Penske||220.286mph|
|5.||Tony Kanaan||KV Racing Technology||219.625mph|
|6.||Hélio Castroneves||Team Penske||219.581mph|
|7.||Scott Dixon*||Chip Ganassi Racing||219.500mph|
|8.||Takuma Sato||AJ Foyt Enterprises||219.124mph|
|9.||Simon Pagenaud||Schmidt Peterson Hamilton HP Racing||218.859mph|
|10.||Simona de Silvestro||KV Racing Technology||218.590mph|
|11.||Tristan Vautier||Schmidt Peterson Hamilton HP Racing||218.575mph|
|12.||Sébastien Bourdais||Dragon Racing||218.517mph|
|13.||Charlie Kimball||Chip Ganassi Racing||218.435mph|
|14.||James Jakes||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||218.240mph|
|15.||Ed Carpenter||Ed Carpenter Racing||218.100mph|
|16.||Josef Newgarden||Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing||217.832mph|
|17.||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||217.457mph|
|18.||Dario Franchitti*||Chip Ganassi Racing||217.047mph|
|19.||Pippa Mann*||Dale Coyne Racing||216.980mph|
|20.||Justin Wilson*||Dale Coyne Racing||216.872mph|
|21.||Sebastián Saavedra||Dragon Racing||215.570mph|
|22.||E.J. Viso*||Team Venezuela / Andretti Autosport||no time|
|23.||Ryan Briscoe||Panther Racing||no time|
|24.||Alex Tagliani*||Barracuda Racing||no time|
* Denotes 10-place grid penalty