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Power on pole ahead of Sato at St Pete

"I am happy with what we have, we have a lot of work on the car so we focused on that," said the Frenchman. ""I think looking at everyone, I think the chassis, we all struggled so much with the balance that there's so much work on this side that I don't really focus on whether my engine is the best or not."

Vautier was one of the few Honda drivers to do well in the first qualifying session of the year. Notably, the Ganassi pair of Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon had a poor showing on Saturday, with Franchitti only able to manage tenth on the grid and Scott Dixon consigned to 21st after being unable to progress from his Round 1 group.

"It's frustrating not being up there where we want to be," admitted Franchitti. "I had a car that had too much oversteer in the first session, and we tried something to correct that and it just produced understeer.

"We're struggling with the car a bit and made some small gains today, I think we'll be able to improve both cars a bit over night," he added. "We'll continue to work hard and see what we can come up with for the Target car tomorrow."

"We have just been a bit behind in getting the Target cars up to speed here this weekend for some reason," conceded Dixon. "I keep finding myself fighting understeer in the car. We have another day to work on it and will definitely be working on some solutions before morning warm-up tomorrow."

Team owner Chip Ganassi was certainly not happy with how things had gone so far in St Peterburg, and was starting to make some ominous rumbles about engine suppliers Honda.

"I think Honda has some work to do, but I think they know that," said Ganassi. "They said for years and years and years they want competition, now they've got competition and they are not talking about winning.

"I don't know if they want to win bad enough. They talk about everything at Honda but winning," he added. "I feel like they want to sit around and hold hands and sing. I want to win."

Ganassi is Honda's principal partner in the IndyCar Series with Team Penske and Andretti Autosports both aligned with Chevrolet, but in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ganassi's team already uses Chevy engines.

Not that things were going all the Chevrolet font-runners' way. Reigning IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay was also unable to crack the top six on Saturday, and will start from eighth place immediately ahead of Franchitti.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Hawk Performance Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to an 11th-place finish Sunday, August 2, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Montoya retains the overall driver`s championship points lead with two races left in the season. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to an fourth-place finish Sunday, August 2, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 PPG Finishes Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a third-place finish Sunday, August 2, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 PPG Finishes Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his third-place finish Sunday, August 2, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Graham Rahal leads a group through the Turn 2 Keyhole turn during the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal and his father, Bobby, celebrate in Victory Circle following their win in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Podium celebrations for Graham Rahal and Justin Wilson after the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Podium celebrations for Graham Rahal, Justin Wilson and Simon Pagenaud after the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal sprays the champagne in Victory Lane following his victory in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal wins the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal begins the celebration as he wins the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay waits in his pit stand prior to practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay rolls down pit lane for practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates having the fastest qualifying time Saturday, August 1, 2015, winning the pole for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Dixon set a track record of 1:04.5814/125.869 mph. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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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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