Will Power continued to make pole position his own on IndyCar's street courses in 2011, clinching his fourth straight pole in four races and once again finding himself lining up on the grid for Sunday's race alongside Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay for the second race in succession.

Power's pole position for the Itaipava S?o Paulo Indy 300 is the 200th in IndyCar for Team Penske.

Scott Dixon will start from third place for the third time in four races, alongside Power's Penske team mate Ryan Briscoe.

Full qualifying session times available.

Round 1

Group 1

With Will Power exercising his right (as the fastest driver during practice) to opt to run in the later Group 2, that left the 13 'even placed' drivers from practice headed by Simona de Silvestro to run in the first 15-minute session of qualifying.

Early runners Tony Kanaan and Sebastian Saavedra were the first to set times, and were soon joined by Tony Kanaan and James Hinchcliffe as the times started to fill out and positions changed rapidly. Inevitably, Penske's Helio Castroneves soon featured high up the timings as the field started to scrap over finishing in the top six positions in order to advance to the second round, and Simona de Silvestro demonstrated that her practice time was no fluke by going top with six minutes of the session to go.

Graham Rahal was the first to dip into the 1:23s with a little over four minutes to go but was quickly eclipsed first by Takuma Sato and then by Ryan Hunter-Reay as the times started to fall dramatically. Rahal went top again with a little over a minute to go, and shortly afterwards Sebastien Bourdais put in a dramatically improved time to get into the top three although he ended up bumped down a place by Helio Castroneves. James Hinchcliffe just managed to claim fifth, which meant that de Silvestro was edged out to seventh place behind Takuma Sato at the chequered flag and failed to advance to round 2.

Group 2

Within seconds of Group 1 concluding, JR Hildebrand was out on track to start the Group 2 action. He had the track almost entirely to himself to set a first flying lap just a shade under 1:27 which quickly improved to 1:23.862. James Jakes was next to came out and join him, after missing out on much of practice 2 due to a gearbox issue.

Most of the field held back and came out with ten minutes to go. Scott Dixon, Justin Wilson and Dario Franchitti were the first of the big names to post a time, but their first runs didn't bump Hildebrand off the top spot until Dixon beat his time by 0.32s with a little over six minutes to run, after which the entire field were consistently on personal best laptimes with the exception of EJ Viso, who was sidelined for the whole session after his big crash at the turn 11 hairpin in practice 2, caused by a brake issue.

Will Power hit the top with three minutes remaining ahead of Dixon, Ryan Briscoe, Franchitti and Mike Conway all of whom had dipped into the 1:22 times which proved good enough to get them through to round 2 along with Justin Wilson in sixth.

Round 2/Top 12

After a five minute pause to allow everyone to catch their breath, the ten minute round 2 got underway with the remaining 12 cars. First to set a fast time was Ryan Hunter-Reay with a 1:25.827. Scott Dixon, Mike Conway and Ryan Briscoe soon set quicker first laps, but soon the times were rapidly tumbling as tyres got up to proper operating temperature and Hunter-Reay reclaimed the top spot again with a 1:23.461 second lap around.

Hunter-Reay and Briscoe were the first to break into the 1:22s, with Graham Rahal going top with four minutes to go with a time of 1:22.650 soon eclipsed by Briscoe and then Will Power as the top times threatened to take on a familiar Penske look.

With two minutes to go, the top six consisted of Briscoe, Hunter-Reay, Dixon, Power, Franchitti and Rahal; Hunter-Reay then had a lock-up and had to overrun turn 2 which saw his final flying laptime deleted, but with no great consequence to the standings. Power and Franchitti improved their times still further in the remaining seconds to finish in the top two spots, while Helio Castroneves, Justin Wilson and Mike Conway were all disappointed to fall short of the final six advancing to round 3.

Helio finishing in seventh meant that there would be no Brazilian drivers through to the Firestone Fast Six.

Round 3 - Firestone Fast Six

After another brief interval, it was time for the ten minute Firestone Fast Six session to decide the front three rows of the grid for the race.

Ryan Hunter-Reay was first out on track to set a time of 1:25.493, with Graham Rahal next up but over 3.5s off Hunter-Reay's initial benchmark. The two Target Chip Ganassi cars of Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti were next up and went first and second respectively, before Rahal and Hunter-Reay came back on warmer tyres and improved their times. The Penske duo of Will Power and Ryan Briscoe held back and didn't set any time until the six minute mark.

Graham Rahal went off into the turn 5 run-off and threatened to trigger a caution, but was re-fired and sent on his way again which meant he would not have his times deleted; it was also good news for Power and Briscoe who had yet to set competitive times at that stage. When Power did do, he immediately slotted into third behind Dixon and Hunter-Reay, and promptly went faster next time around to go top with 1:21.896 with three minutes to go, 0.4s ahead of Hunter-Reay.

Scott Dixon improved to third on his final run to put him ahead of Ryan Briscoe and Graham Rahal, but his team mate Dario Franchitti had his penultimate flying lap deleted after cutting turn 2 and failed to improve on his final attempt, meaning he ended up bottom of the Firestone Fast Six.

Full qualifying session times available.

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