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Power on pole ahead of Sato at St Pete

Will Power claimed his traditional St Pete pole position on Saturday afternoon, but Takuma Sato and Simona de Silvestro are new faces at the front of the grid.
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.




Related Pictures

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Takuma Sato during practice at St Petersburg, Florida - March 2013 (Picture Credit: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Simona de Silvestro after qualifying for the Honda Grand Prix of St Petersburg - March 2013. (Picture Credit: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay during qualifying for the Honda Grand Prix of St Petersburg - March 2013. (Picture Credit: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates pole position for the Honda Grand Prix of St Petersburg, the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series opener - March 2013. (Picture Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest.  (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates with his daughter Mikaella after winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest.  (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power in action during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in action during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Will Power sits in his pit stand prior to practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud and Ryan Briscoe go wheel-to-wheel during the Open Test at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Will Power sits on pit lane prior to the evening Open Test session at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in his pit stand at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in his pit stand prior to track activity during the Open Test at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
The cars of Ryan Briscoe and Sebastien Bourdais go off course during the start of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
The cars of Ryan Briscoe and Sebastien Bourdais go off course during the start of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
The cars of Ryan Briscoe and Sebastien Bourdais go off course during the start of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)

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Terrific,nice to see lady driver with big balls in decent eqpt.Too bad Katherine Legge got screwed by the pizzing Penske Jr.Team. Hope for numerous first time winners in ALL motorsport this year to add public interest. TIDE ferrari racing, palm beach. P.S. TIDE raced one of our 14 ferraris ,the 1955 vintage 250 GT Paris Show car in 1988 Cartet Bank Historic races sponsored by Craig Hinton, Historic Sportscar .Racings new co owner, son David Hinton. Sorry my ferrari France 308GTB rally car sponsored by Palm Beach Prestige Auto, Giacomo Verrelli and Pomperei Di Franco will not be ready until Watkins Glen. The year we raced St. Pete Paul Newmans co driver,J. Fitzpatrick was killed in turn three,.stroke ? The St.Pete sunday paper had a half page picture & article about TIDE on the front of the sports section. Please help save the MIAMI Marine Stadium!



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