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Franchitti takes Toronto pole.

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.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Indy Racing League.  10-12 July 2009.  Honda Indy of Toronto. Tornoto, Ontario, Canada.  Pole sitter, Dario Franchitti.
Will Power - Team Penske
Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) on his way to victory at Watkins Glen   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) on his way to pole at Watkins Glen   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Scott Dixon leads the Indycar field   [pic credit: Indycar media/Bret Kelley]
Will Power - Team Penske   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Jones]
Will Power - Team Penske   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Jones]
Will Power - Team Penske   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Scott Dixon - Target Chip Ganassi Racing   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/JOE SKIBINSKI]
Will Power - Penske  [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Jones]
Will Power - Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Jones]
Will Power - Team Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Jones]
Will Power - Team Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Richard Dowdy)
Will Power - Team Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Will Power - Team Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Max Chilton, Chip Ganassi, [Credit: Max Chilton PR]
Scott Dixon - Chip Ganassi [credit: IndyCar Series]
Scott Dixon - Chip Ganassi [credit: IndyCar Series]

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