As far as pole position goes for the IZOD IndyCar Series Honda Grand Prix of St Petersburg, it was very much business as usual: for the fourth time in a row, Will Power was very much in control. He set a new track record of 1:01.2070s, beating the previous best time he set this time last year, and is Power's 30th pole in the series.
"Very good start to the season," said Power. "Just had to get through the fast six and look after our tyres in the first two rounds then see what we could do that last one."
It had been more than enough as it turned out, but there were surprised around him as Takuma Sato put AJ Foyt Racing alongside Penske on the front row of the grid, and Simona de Silvestro scored her best-ever starting position in her first outing with KV Racing Technology.
"I thought it was going to be very tight," said Power. "It was good to see some new people up there. Like Simona, that's very cool, but I always knew, everyone always knew she was quick. Sato, we all know he's fast, so that's what you would expect."
"Between Will and I it's always getting close for us this weekend," said Sato. "Unfortunately we didn't get the fastest, [but] I am really glad for the team to get the 2nd position for the season-starter. it's really perfect."
And the Japanese former F1 driver fancied his chanced for the race as well: "We had a good car on the long runs so hopefully tomorrow we will be challenging for the winning."
Simona de Silvestro was thrilled with her impressive run to third place, the first time the Swiss racer has ever even made it through to the Firestone Fast Six in her IndyCar career.
"It's awesome!" she said. "The whole weekend has been going really well for us and it's really cool to finally get the results we wanted ... We were right there with Will and Sato who are usually are always up there and it's fun to be up there with them."
There was also an eye-catching performance from the only rookie in this year's IndyCar championship, Schmidt-Peterson's Tristan Vautier, who also made it through to the pole shootout round and will start from sixth place on the grid.