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Sato claims pole for Detroit race 2

Takuma Sato set a new track record time during Sunday morning qualifying for the second race in the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle.
CLICK: Full race 2 qualifying results

AJ Foyt Racing's Takuma Sato will start on pole position for Sunday afternoon's second race in the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit, after setting a new track record time of 1:16.1371s (111.115mph) on the 2.36-mile, 13-turn street circuit at Belle Isle.

It's the Japanese driver's fifth career pole in the Verizon IndyCar Series, and his second of the season after also claiming the top spot in the first race of the year at St Petersburg. That makes him the only driver so far to win more than pole position in 2014 through seven races.

Sato set his time on his final lap of qualifying, after his group's 12-minute session was truncated by a red flag for debris leaving everyone scrambling to set their best laptime in the five minutes remaining once the green flag came out again.

Castroneves had also just beaten the existing track record (set by himself 24 hours earlier) and was congratulating his engineer and race strategist on pit lane when Sato's time came up and proved to be a comprehensive 0.2253s faster, displacing the Brazilian from the top row of the grid for the race.

Although Castroneves' time was still faster than James Hinchcliffe who had earlier topped the first group with a time of 1:16.3739s (110.771mph), the qualifying format for race 2 means that the Andretti Autosport #27 gets the shotgun seat on the frown row rather than the Penske #3. It's Hinchcliffe's fifth front row start of the season including the previous day's outing at Detroit, but thus far has always been from second place and not yet from pole.

Instead, Castroneves will start immediately behind Sato, while fourth place goes to the second-fastest man in Hinchcliffe's group which was Mike Conway, a race winner here in 2013 who will be looking for a better day of it than yesterday which saw him oversteer into the wall on lap 15 for an early end to his day.

Saturday's race winner Will Power was fourth fastest in his group and will therefore start Sunday's race from eighth position. That will put him alongside the other 2013 race winner Simon Pagenaud who was also an early retirement from yesterday's race 1 - ironically, after making contact with Power. Each driver blamed the other for that incident, which has left Power nursing a sore wrist overnight.

It will be another hard day at the office for newly crowned 2014 Indy 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, who started Saturday's race from 21st place after damaging his rear wing on the barrier during qualifying, and will start race 2 in the same position after once again making contact with wall with the left rear of the #28 Andretti Autosport car on his first flying lap.

"It just snapped out, I couldn't catch it," said Hunter-Reay afterwards, blaming cold tyre temperatures. "I couldn't adjust."

As well as damaging the car, the collision sent the wheel guard flying which was the cause of the debris caution that curtailed the session. As a result of triggering a red flag, Hunter-Reay's existing times were deleted leaving him bottom of the group.

That puts him alongside reigning IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon, who was significantly off the pace in his own qualifying group and will therefore start Sunday's race in 22nd and last place.

Yesterday's runner-up Graham Rahal will start from 14th place for the race, after opting to prioritise tyre strategy for the race.

"We ran blacks as we wanted to save the new reds for the race which nobody else did," he said later on Twitter. "So I think were looking good!"

Full race 2 qualifying results

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Will Power prepares for qualifications for Race 2 of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Takuma Sato and AJ Foyt with the Verizon P1 Award flag for their pole for Race 2 of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Kyle Kaiser (Juncos Racing) celebrates at Laguna Seca
Kyle Kaiser - Juncos Racing
Ed Carpenter Racing crew working on the boss` car   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) on his way to victory at Watkins Glen   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) on his way to pole at Watkins Glen   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Scott Dixon leads the Indycar field   [pic credit: Indycar media/Bret Kelley]
Ed Jones - Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Scott Dixon - Target Chip Ganassi Racing   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/JOE SKIBINSKI]
Josef Newgarden - Ed Carpenter Racing   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Shawn Gritzmacher]
James Hinchcliffe - Schmidt Peterson Motorsports   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Jones]
Josef Newgarden - Ed Carpenter Racing [credit: Chris Jones]
James Hinchcliffe - Schmidt Peterson [credit: Chris Owens]
Spencer Pigot - Ed Carpenter Racing
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske   [image credit: IndyCar Media/Bret Kelley]
Sebastian Bourdais (KVSH Racing) celebrates in Detroit   [image creid: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Sebastian Bourdais - KVSH Racing   [image credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]

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