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Power claims Penske's 200th IndyCar pole

Will Power continued to dominate qualifying on street courses in 2011, with Andretti's Ryan Hunter-Reay starting second again and Ganassi's Scott Dixon third in São Paulo, Brazil.
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 São 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.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Penske`s Ryan Briscoe in action during practice on the streets of Sao Paulo. [Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Dario Franchitti`s Target Chip Ganassi car in its new red and blue livery [Photo credit: LAT Photo USA for IndyCar Media]
Penske`s Will Power in action during practice on the streets of Sao Paulo. [Picture credit: LAT Photo USA for IndyCar Media]
Team Penske`s Will Power with his fourth Peak Performance Award of the season, for pole in Sao Paulo, Brazil [Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Scott Dixon Road America
Scott Dixon - Chip Ganassi Indy Car [credit: IndyCar TV Twitter]
Will Power Texas
Graham Rahal Detroit celebration
Detroit IndyCar Andretti RHR
Graham Rahal Detroit IndyCar 2017
Graham Rahal Detroit
Scott Dixon Indy 500
Scott Dixon [credit: IndyCar Series]
Scott Dixon Indy 500 qualifying
Ryan Hunter-Reay Indy 500 practice 2017
Will Power Indy 500 practice
Will Power - Team Penske

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