Dario Franchitti will be starting from a familiar spot for the Honda Indy Toronto, having repeated his feat of taking pole there on debut in 1997 during qualifying for the IndyCar Series first visit to Exhibition Place.

The Scot posted a best lap of 1min 01.0249secs on the 1.755-mile circuit to top the Firestone Fast Six session ahead of series returnee - and reigning Toronto 'champion' - Will Power as the field geared up for Sunday's 85-lap race.

It was Franchitti's third PEAK Performance Pole of season, and the ninth pole of his IndyCar career, and there was a sense of deja vu for the Target Chip Ganassi driver as the grid line-up unveiled. When he won the pole in Toronto in 1997, veteran Bobby Rahal qualified third and, on the first lap of the race, the pair made contact going into turn one. This weekend, as Franchitti scored his third pole at Toronto, the next generation of Rahal - Bobby's son Graham - claimed third spot in the Fast Six.

"When I got my first pole here, his dad qualified third and took me out in the first corner, so I'm going to have a word with the next generation and talk to Graham and work things out tomorrow morning so we can get through turn one," the Scot laughed.

"Seriously, my first pole here, in '97, was an awful long time ago. I was trying to remember what I did right back in '97 this morning so I could kind of put it to practice with the Target car. It's the usual story - the guys worked really, really hard to improve the car yesterday. Then, with the rain this morning, we didn't do too much running. It was good, actually, with the changes we made in qualifying. The car was good out of the box and the lap that I did in the Fast Six, I came in afterwards and said 'that's it!'.

"It was a hell of a lap - as good a lap as I've driven around here. If they can go quicker, let them have it, because that's all she's got. I was very happy with the car and the job I did today."

Power continued to show that another enforced lay-off from the action had had no adverse effect on his abilities, lining up on the front row in the #12 Penske Truck Rentals entry after being the only member of the Penske line-up to make the Fast Six. It is the Australian's second front row appearance of the season, after Long Beach.

"My crew just walked in this weekend; the first time they've been back since May, and it's the same with me," Power confirmed, "They did a fantastic job, and we're really happy to be second. We would have been a lot happier with first, but second is great. The car has been good since we rolled it off the trailer and it was the same at Long Beach. I'm just doing my job."

Rahal, meanwhile, continued his strong road and street course form by cementing a fifth top six start on all circuits. The youngster, who qualified on the pole at the season-opener in St Petersburg, is commemorating his father's 1986 victory in the inaugural Toronto event with a special helmet design depicting Bobby's classic livery on one side and his own 2009 edition on the other.

"I am looking for this father/son helmet design to bring me some additional luck," the 20-year old Rahal admitted, "At the end of the day, the McDonald's car ran extremely well and we made great improvements - it shows what this team can do. We're happy to be third today."

Rahal will share row two with Justin Wilson, who took Dale Coyne Racing's first-ever IndyCar win at Watkins Glen last weekend and continued his front-running performance on the streets around Exhibition Place. Wilson and Franchitti are the only drivers to have qualified for the Firestone Fast Six at each of the four races where the system has been employed this season. Power and Rahal have qualified for three of the four, although the Australian has made the cut at each applicable race he has contested in his fragmented campaign.

"I thought it was a reasonable day - things went quite well, but we weren't just quite quick enough," a disappointed Wilson said, "We started out quite loose, struggling to get the power down, struggling for grip, but we kept working on it, kept making improvements. We're quite pleased with what we managed to do on the used reds but, unfortunately, it wasn't enough to beat Dario. He was on good form, as well as Graham and Will, so I'm pretty pleased with fourth. Hopefully, we'll have a trouble-free race and we'll move forward."

With his Watkins Glen success removing some of the surprise element that the Coyne entry previously carried, Wilson handed the baton to Alex Tagliani, who was able to overcome his own stop-start season to claim a career-best IRL start with fifth in the final qualifying shootout.

"It was a great job for the Conquest Racing team," the Canadian commented, "All of the boys did a fantastic job. We didn't run as much as we wanted to yesterday, and I think we left a couple things on the table by not running a new set of tyres on Friday. I think the car was decent, although we missed a couple of attempts at the end to improve our lap and be in the top three, but it was a great effort from all of the boys."

Tagliani will share row three with a buoyant Mike Conway as six different teams filled the Firestone Fast Six places - and forced the likes of Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe to miss out.

The current points leader will start from eighth, alongside rookie Robert Doornbos, while Castroneves and Briscoe will occupy tenth and eleventh in the starting line-up, behind Friday pacesetter Raphael Matos. Ryan Hunter-Reay completes the top twelve, with Paul Tracy's Toronto return failing to yield the hoped-for top five. The Ontario native will roll off 15th, alongside EJ Viso.

"Unfortunately, I got caught in a lot of traffic - I lost about three laps there because of traffic in front of me," Castroneves moaned, "This is a tough street circuit, and we have some different drivers and teams in the Fast Six. It should be interesting tomorrow in the race, but Team Penske will be ready and we will go for it on Sunday."