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Edmonton - Qualifying times & starting grid

Takuma Sato put in a stunning set of runs to take pole position on the new Edmonton Airport street course layout, holding off Will Power and forcing the Ganassi cars onto the second row.
Takuma Sato followed up his surprise pole at Iowa Speedway last month by claiming his first road/street course IndyCar Series pole on the newly configured track at Edmonton City Center Aiport, to show that KV Racing Technology's recent surge in speed is by no means a fluke.

Will Power's last run was unable to match Sato's time in the final seconds of the Firestone Fast Six, while Ganassi duo Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti will start from the second row. Franchitti admitted afterwards that neither of their cars were really set-up where he or Dixon wanted them yet and that there was work to do overnight.

EJ Viso and Ryan Briscoe also made it through to the pole shootout, while Ryan Hunter-Reay felt that Oriol Servia had blocked his flying laps and stopped him progressing from Round 2; and a full course caution triggered by Ana Beatrix caused problems for drivers including Justin Wilson and Alex Tagliani who had not set a time in the Round 1 Group 1 session.

The Saturday schedule was an improvised affair with timings very fluid as they reacted to conditions, following the loss of all running on Friday because of heavy and persistent rain, and problems with standing water collecting on the newly configured circuit.

Starting Grid

1. #5 Takuma Sato KV
2. #12 Will Power Penske
3. #9 Scott Dixon Ganassi
4. #10 Dario Franchitti Ganassi
5. #59 EJ Viso KV
6. #6 Ryan Briscoe Penske
7. #28 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti
8. #2 Oriol Servia Newman/Haas
9. #3 Helio Castroneves Penske
10. #06 James Hinchcliffe Newman/Haas
11. #82 Tony Kanaan KV
12. #19 Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne
13. #38 Graham Rahal Ganassi
14. #14 Vitor Meira Foyt
15. #22 Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold
16. #78 Simona de Silvestro HVM
17. #77 Alex Tagliani Sam Schmidt
18. #18 James Jakes Dale Coyne
19. #26 Marco Andretti Andretti
20. #27 Mike Conway Andretti
21. #83 Charlie Kimball Ganassi
22. #7 Danica Patrick Andretti
23. #24 Ana Beatriz Dreyer & Reinbold
24. #4 JR Hildebrand Panther
25. #8 Paul Tracy Dragon
26. #34 Sebastian Saavedra Conquest

Qualifying times

Qualifying took place at between 3.30pm and 4.50pm, the rain-affected schedule finally having managed to catch up with the planned timings. Qualifying consisted of half the field running in the 15 minute Group 1 and the other half in Group 2, with the top six from each group progressing to the ten minute Top 12 session, and the top six then going through to the shootout Firestone Fast Six round.

Round 1: Group 1 - 15 minutes

A full course caution for Ana Beatriz stopping on track between turns 11 and 12 cost Beatriz her top two times of the session and caused problems for Group 1, with several big names not having set fast laps by then and then struggling to get their red-wall (sort) tyres up to speed in the four minutes remaining when the track went green.

Alex Tagliani and Justin Wilson were both among those drivers caught out. "We're all trying to outsmart ourselves," admitted Wilson, explaining that the team strategists had been trying to wait until the track was offering up the most grip. "We're waiting for rubber to be put down and it doesn't afford for a yellow flag. We shot ourselves in the foot big time. We just screwed up. It's disappointing."

1. #12 Will Power 102.388mph 1m 18.1963s after 5 laps
2. #28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 101.726mph 1m 18.7057s + 0.5094s after 5 laps
3. #06 James Hinchcliffe 101.723mph 1m 18.7077s + 0.5114s after 6 laps
4. #2 Oriol Servia 101.570mph 1m 18.8267s + 0.6304s after 4 laps
5. #82 Tony Kanaan 101.473mph 1m 18.9018s + 0.7055s after 5 laps
6. #6 Ryan Briscoe 101.357mph 1m 18.9921s + 0.7958s after 5 laps
7. #38 Graham Rahal 101.259mph 1m 19.0682s + 0.8719s after 6 laps
8. #22 Justin Wilson 101.253mph 1m 19.0732s + 0.8769s after 4 laps
9. #77 Alex Tagliani 101.177mph 1m 19.1329s + 0.9366s after 4 laps
10. #26 Marco Andretti 100.557mph 1m 19.6204s + 1.4241s after 7 laps
11. #83 Charlie Kimball 100.036mph 1m 20.0348s + 1.8385s after 6 laps
12. #24 Ana Beatriz 99.678mph 1m 20.3224s + 2.1261s after 8 laps
13. #8 Paul Tracy 99.479mph 1m 20.4836s + 2.2873 after 5 laps

Round 1: Group 2 - 15 minutes

The second group had been watching the first, and drivers were alert to the danger of not getting straight to work and were soon on track.

The KV Racing Technology duo of Takuma Sato and EJ Viso put in blistering early laps, and Sato proved immovable in the top spot while the Ganassi pairing of Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon managed to slot in between him and Viso. Sebastian Bourdais snatched sixth from Vitor Meira at the last minute, but Mike Conway struggled to keep the #27 off the barriers and failed to get anywhere close to the top six, complaining of the car lacking mechanical grip.

1. #5 Takuma Sato 102.443mph 1m 18.1544s after 6 laps
2. #10 Dario Franchitti 102.136mph 1m 18.3894s + 0.2350s after 7 laps
3. #9 Scott Dixon 102.122mph 1m 18.4007s + 0.2463s after 7 laps
4. #59 EJ Viso 101.882mph 1m 18.5848s + 0.4304s after 9 laps
5. #3 Helio Castroneves 101.570mph 1m 18.8263s + 0.6719s after 6 laps
6. #19 Sebastien Bourdais 101.454mph 1m 18.9165s + 0.7621s after 7 laps
7. #14 Vitor Meira 101.375mph 1m 18.9781s + 0.8237s after 6 laps
8. #78 Simona de Silvestro 101.080mph 1m 19.2084s + 1.0540s after 9 laps
9. #18 James Jakes 100.896mph 1m 19.3533s + 1.1989s after 9 laps
10. #27 Mike Conway 100.835mph 1m 19.4007s + 1.2463s after 6 laps
11. #7 Danica Patrick 100.746mph 1m 19.4713s + 1.3169s after 8 laps
12. #4 JR Hildebrand 100.679mph 1m 19.5237s + 1.3693s after 9 laps
13. #34 Sebastian Saavedra 100.432mph 1m 19.7200s + 1.5656s after 8 laps

Round 2: Top 12 - 10 minutes

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Takuma Sato on track on his way to pole position at Edmonton, July 2011. [Photo credit: LAT Photo USA for IndyCar Media]
Scott Dixon Road America
Scott Dixon - Chip Ganassi Indy Car [credit: IndyCar TV Twitter]
Will Power Texas
Detroit IndyCar Andretti RHR
Takuma Sato Detroit IndyCar
Scott Dixon Indy 500
Takuma Sato 2017 Indy 500 winner`s circle
Takuma Sato 2017 Indy 500
Indy 500, IndyCar, Takuma Sato
Scott Dixon [credit: IndyCar Series]
Scott Dixon Indy 500 qualifying
Fernando Alonso Indy 500 qualifying
Ed Carpenter Indy 500 qualifying
Pippa Mann Indy 500 qualifying
Ryan Hunter-Reay Indy 500 practice 2017
Will Power Indy 500 practice

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