Takuma Sato was thrilled to be on pole position for the second time in four weeks, following up his first IndyCar Series pole at Iowa Speedway by winning the number one spot for the Edmonton Indy on the new-configuration Edmonton City Center Airport street/road course with a best lap time of 1m 18.5165s.
"Absolutely fantastic!" he said afterwards. "My thanks to the team. It is quite challenging to go for the pole; everyone is so close in lap times. The Iowa pole was special for the team, and this one [his first on a street track] means a lot."
Sato's performance throughout all three rounds of qualifying put paid to any doubts that KV Racing technology's recent pace has been anything other than genuine, as he saw off strong challenges from Penske's street king Will Power and the Ganassi duo of Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti who will start side-by-side on the second row of the grid for Sunday's race.
"I have a fast car, I just didn't get it done there in that last session" said Power, whose best time was just 0.0509s off Sato's. "I brushed the wall there and unfortunately affected the car. I think Takuma Sato would have had it regardless because he was so quick anyway, so I give him full credit."
"Unfortunately we just didn't have enough to get the pole," said Dixon for his part. "I that Dario and myself both had it in the car, but it is such a tricky track you lose your speed in the last corner. It is very tough with the heavy braking especially with the tires."
Dario felt that both Ganassi cars hadn't quite nailed the set-up yet. "This track is tricky I don't think that Scott and I are completely happy with our cars yet, so the fact that the Target cars are starting third and fourth is good for us," he said. "If we can fix some of our imbalances for tomorrow we should be in good shape ... There is such a compromise between certain corners on the track and others. It makes it very interesting. It is the same for everyone, I just don't think we have got it figured out as well when it comes to car balance."
"It's a very technical course here," agreed Dixon, who won last year's race at Edmonton, which he also started from third place. "I think if I could have got Turn 11 right then I would have had the pole. I am losing time on that section and we have been trying new things to help improve. Hopefully tomorrow I can try a few different lines and see if that will help out as well."
Further back, the top 12 round saw Ryan Hunter-Reay frustrated to find himself stuck behind Oriol Servia in the final moments, and their ongoing spat saw them both miss out to Ryan Briscoe in progressing to the Firestone Fast Six final round.
"We threw three laps away because we were stuck in traffic," explained an annoyed Hunter-Reay, who will start from seventh. "I felt like it was intentional by Oriol. The sportsman-like thing to do would have been to move over. Before that, we had some good laps there.