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Hunter-Reay wins, and loses, Edmonton pole

Ryan Hunter-Reay set the fastest pole time in a rain-hit Edmonton qualifying, but an engine penalty will see him start the race from 11th and leave Dario Franchitti in the top spot.
Dario Franchitti wasn't able to win his fourth consecutive pole position of the season for tomorrow's Edmonton Indy, but he will nonetheless still start from the top spot in the race thanks to an engine change penalty that will demote the fastest man in qualifying - Ryan Hunter-Reay - out of the top ten.

Increasingly gloomy skies and strengthening winds around Edmonton City Center Airport made it plain going in that rain was not far away from the 2.24-mile, 13-turn temporary circuit, as qualifying got underway for Sunday's race. While the first round of qualifying escaped the showers, the rain came down before round 2 and was a big factor right through to the end - throwing up a number of surprises along the way.

The session followed the standard road and street course format, which saw half the field running in the first 15 minute Group 1 and the other half in Group 2. After a five minute pause, the top six from each group progressed to the ten-minute Top 12 session, with the top six from that round then going through to the pole shootout Firestone Fast Six round.

Full qualifying times from all three rounds are available.

Round 1 - Group 1

The first part of qualifying featured Scott Dixon, Simon Pagenaud, Alex Tagliani, Justin Wilson, Will Power, Josef Newgarden, Marco Andretti, Ryan Briscoe, Takuma Sato, Charlie Kimball, JR Hildebrand and Simona Silvestro.

As is usually the case in IZOD IndyCar Series qualifying, there were no takers for a completely clear track for the first five minutes of the 15 minute session. In the end, Simona de Silvestro was the first car to break cover and head out, and it was more than another two minutes before she was joined by the rest of the field.

Will Power went top with his first flying lap, setting a time of 1:16.9588s that was quickly beaten by Josef Newgarden's response of 1:16.7646s and then by Ryan Briscoe moving the goalposts up to 1:16.4518s. Power responded with the quickest laps of the weekend including a phenomenal 1:15.9508s to put him a quarter of a second ahead of local hero Alex Tagliani, and was w whopping 2.6 seconds quicker than the 2011 pole time set by Sato.

Both Power and Tagliani understandably felt safe with those performances and came back into pit lane with a minute left on the clock, leaving the rest of the field to carry on without them. Sato and Briscoe also soon booked their way through to the next round while Scott Dixon was also safe in fifth, leaving Simon Pagenaud to narrowly hold off Justin Wilson and Josef Newgarden for the final spot.

Round 1 - Group 2

The second group featured Helio Castroneves, Mike Conway, James Hinchcliffe, Dario Frachitti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Rubens Barrichello, Graham Rahal, Tony Kanaan, EJ Viso, James Jakes, Sebastien Bourdais, Oriol Servia and Ed Carpenter.




Related Pictures

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Ryan Hunter-Reay. July 6-9, 2012. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (c) 2012 Perry Nelson (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Edmonton Indy Pole Winner Ryan Hunter-Reay with pole award. (c) 2012, Michael L. Levitt. (PHoto Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
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)
James Hinchcliffe at IMS (Photo by: Mike Harding)
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)

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