CLICK: Full qualifying results
Helio Castroneves clinched pole position for the first race in this weekend's Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit doubleheader by almost half a second over the rest of the field.
Castroneves' best time in the Firestone Fast Six was 1:17.5362s (109.110mph) on the 2.36-mile, 13-turn temporary street circuit on at Belle Isle, putting the Penske driver 0.4426s clear of his nearest challenger, James Hinchcliffe in the #27 Andretti Autosport car.
"The car is spectacular, it's on rails," said Castroneves after he claimed his 39th career Verizon IndyCar Series pole position, and his first of the 2014 season. "The car that we had at Indy was amazing and we're carrying that momentum."
Series rookie Jack Hawksworth once again impressed and picked up third place on the grid in the #98 Bryan Herta Autosport, putting him alongside Mike Conway in the#20 Ed Carpenter Racing entry. The third row will be shared by ganassi driver Ryan Briscoe and Penske's Juan Pablo Montoya, who was making his first appearance in the Fast Six ince his return to IndyCar.
Qualifying had started with a shock outcome to the first group in Round 1, when the two drivers who had been fastest in first practice on Friday - Ryan Hunter-Reay and Justin Wilson - finished at the bottom of the timesheets and failed to progress, meaning that they will start race 1 from 21st and 19th place respectively. In Hunter-Reay's case, it was because the #28 Andretti Autosport car made contact with the barrier and sustained damage to the rear wing on his first flying lap.
"Just pushing it in qualifying and the left rear snapped on me, and I just brushed the wall," Hunter-Reay explained. "Just no time to fix it."
Initially it had seemed as though the overall fastest man from Friday's practice, Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsport's Simon Pagenaud, had made it through to Round 2. However word came down from race control that Pagenaud's fastest two laps had been delated after he was found to have impeded one of Montoya's qualifying laps - a claim later vehemently denied by a furious Pagenaud on pit road, who exclaimed that "I don't understand the call" - and that dropped him out of the top six and means he will now start Saturday afternoon's race from 17th place.
The second group yielded less in the way of shocks, but it was still surprising to see Castroneves' Penske team mate Will Power fail to progress after finishing in eighth place in the group, putting him into a lowly 16th place on the starting grid for the race. Penske president Tim Cincric admitted afterwards that the team simply hadn't found enough pace in the #12 in qualifying trim: "We just didn't have a very good car this morning," he said.
Marco Andretti also failed to make it through from his first round group and will start from 18th place. Among those eliminated at the end of Round 2 were Sebastien Bourdais, Tony Kanaan and Scott Dixon, making for a very mixed-up grid that should provide much potential for entertainment in the 70-lap race which gets underway at 3.50pm local time (8.50pm BST).
Qualifying for the second race of this weekend's doubleheader takes place on Sunday morning, with the field split into two groups which each have 12 minutes for the drivers to set their best laptime which will determine their starting grid position for the second race later in the day.
Full qualifying results