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Sato claims pole position at new-look Edmonton

Takuma Sato proved that his Iowa performance last month was no fluke as he claimed his second series pole position, narrowly holding off Will Power on the new Edmonton circuit.
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.




Related Pictures

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Takuma Sato on his way to pole position on the street/road course at Edmonton. July 2011. [Photo credit: LAT Photo USA for IndyCar media]
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, and his team perform the traditional kissing of the bricks after racing to victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, drinks the traditional bottle of milk while celebrating his victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, crosses the finish line as he races to victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Will Power (left), driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, finishes second. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Andy Frame/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power on pit road during the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Dana Garrett for IndyCar Media)
Penske team mates Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power race side-by-wide during the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya crosses the line ahead of Penske team mate Will Power to win the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Will Power, Mark Miles and Derrick Walker announce the addition of Boston to the 2016 IndyCar Series itinerary. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe during practice prior to Qualifying for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race (Photo by: Leigh Spargur)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies third fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, and will start on the outside of the front row for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Pagenaud will be joined in the front row by by polestar Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest for the May 24 race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies second-fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, and will start in the middle of the front row for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Power will be joined in the front row by pole sitter Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates after qualifying fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, winning the pole for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dixon will be joined in the front row by Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest, and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, winning the pole for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dixon will be joined in the front row by Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest, and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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