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Edmonton - Qualifying times & starting grid

23 July 2011

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

Will Power, Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon set a familiar tone to the top of the timesheets with the KV Racing technology pair of Takuma Sato and EJ Viso continuing to impress, while Ryan Briscoe took the final slot in the top six to make the last round an even battle between two Penskes, two Ganassis and two KV Racing cars.

The final minutes were dominated by a bad-tempered spat between Ryan Hunter-Reay and Oriol Servia, Hunter-Reay accusing Servia of repeatedly holding him up and ruining his attempts to set a fast time. "We threw three laps away because we were stuck in traffic. I felt like it was intentional by Oriol," said a heated Hunter-Reay, saying that the "sportsman-like thing to do would have been [for Servia] to move over."

"I don't know if he wanted me to just disappear," said Servia, "But I happened to be trying to do my quick lap too. I understand his frustration, I was frustrated too."

1. #12 Will Power 102.452mph 1m 18.1481s after 5 laps
2. #10 Dario Franchitti 102.203mph 1m 18.3382s + 0.1901s after 6 laps
3. #9 Scott Dixon 102.183mph 1m 18.3534s + 0.2053s after 6 laps
4. #5 Takuma Sato 101.912mph 1m 18.5616s + 0.4135s after 6 laps
5. #6 Ryan Briscoe 101.880mph 1m 18.5865s + 0.4384s after 6 laps
6. #59 EJ Viso 101.861mph 1m 18.6010s + 0.4529s after 6 laps
7. #28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 101.775mph 1m 18.6678s + 0.5197s after 7 laps
8. #2 Oriol Servia 101.715mph 1m 18.7142s + 0.5661s after 5 laps
9. #3 Helio Castroneves 101.647mph 1m 18.7669s + 0.6188s after 6 laps
10. #06 James Hinchcliffe 101.434mph 1m 18.9323s + 0.7842s after 5 laps
11. #82 Tony Kanaan 101.322mph 1m 19.0190s + 0.8709s after 6 laps
12. #19 Sebastien Bourdais 100.861mph 1m 19.3802s + 1.2321s after 6 laps

Round 3: Firestone Fast 6

Takuma Sato set an outstanding time of 1:18.5165s to claim his second pole position of the season and his first on a road/street course, with Will Power the last man left on track but unable to beat Sato's time to continue his run of street track poles.

Scott Dixon's final run of the afternoon was just enough to displace his team mate Dario Franchitti for third in the last seconds, meaning that they will form an all-Ganassi second row for the start of the race on Sunday afternoon.

1. #5 Takuma Sato 101.971mph 1m 18.5165s after 6 laps
2. #12 Will Power 101.905mph 1m 18.5674s + 0.0509s after 6 laps
3. #9 Scott Dixon 101.805mph 1m 18.6442s + 0.1277s after 6 laps
4. #10 Dario Franchitti 101.781mph 1m 18.6628s + 0.1463s after 7 laps
5. #59 EJ Viso 101.684mph 1m 18.7383s + 0.2218s after 8 laps
6. #6 Ryan Briscoe 101.313mph 1m 19.0267s + 0.5102s after 6 laps

Saturday Practice 2

Despite drier and brighter weather, track conditions continued to be difficult for the second 45 minute session on Saturday from 11.25am, with most drivers spinning, running wide or into the run-off at turn 1 at some point.

Dario Franchitti led the timesheets with the only sub-1:19 time for much of the session, but Takuma Sato put in a flier on the very last lap to take the top spot by 0.0085s in the final seconds.

1. #5 Takuma Sato 101.376mph 1m 18.9772s after 19 laps
2. #10 Dario Franchitti 101.365mph 1m 18.9857s + 0.0085s after 22 laps
3. #59 EJ Viso 101.287mph 1m 19.0469s + 0.0697s after 19 laps
4. #9 Scott Dixon 101.250mph 1m 19.0753s + 0.0981s after 21 laps
5. #12 Will Power 101.205mph 1m 19.1105s + 0.1333s after 22 laps
6. #77 Alex Tagliani 101.180mph 1m 19.1300s + 0.1528s after 21 laps
7. #2 Oriol Servia 101.084mph 1m 19.2053s + 0.2281s after 21 laps
8. #3 Helio Castroneves 101.026mph 1m 19.2505s + 0.2733s after 20 laps
9. #28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 100.856mph 1m 19.3842s + 0.4070s after 21 laps
10. #22 Justin Wilson 100.783mph 1m 19.4417s + 0.4645s after 21 laps
11. #06 James Hinchcliffe 100.769mph 1m 19.4527s + 0.4755s after 20 laps
12. #6 Ryan Briscoe 100.736mph 1m 19.4792s + 0.5020s after 23 laps
13. #38 Graham Rahal 100.684mph 1m 19.5204s + 0.5432s after 21 laps
14. #14 Vitor Meira 100.658mph 1m 19.5405s + 0.5633s after 24 laps
15. #27 Mike Conway 100.540mph 1m 19.6339s + 0.6567s after 18 laps
16. #7 Danica Patrick 100.520mph 1m 19.6502s + 0.6730s after 18 laps
17. #34 Sebastian Saavedra 100.417mph 1m 19.7319s + 0.7547s after 19 laps
18. #82 Tony Kanaan 100.413mph 1m 19.7347s + 0.7575s after 18 laps
19. #19 Sebastien Bourdais 100.250mph 1m 19.8646s + 0.8874s after 18 laps
20. #4 JR Hildebrand 100.163mph 1m 19.9340s + 0.9568s after 16 laps
21. #26 Marco Andretti 100.064mph 1m 20.0125s + 1.0353s after 23 laps
22. #83 Charlie Kimball 100.039mph 1m 20.0331s + 1.0559s after 22 laps
23. #24 Ana Beatriz 100.001mph 1m 20.0631s + 1.0859s after 21 laps
24. #8 Paul Tracy 99.518mph 1m 20.4515s + 1.4743s after 12 laps
25. #18 James Jakes 99.371mph 1m 20.5708s + 1.5936s after 22 laps
26. #78 Simona de Silvestro 99.183mph 1m 20.7232s + 1.7460s after 18 laps

Total Laps: 520

Saturday Practice 1

Standing water was still a major concern as the 45 minute first practice session on Saturday scheduled to commence at 9.40am but delayed by earlier Indy Lights activity, but the wet tyres started to make good progress at enforcing a drier line as the session progressed and times tumbled at the end with local hero James Hinchcliffe's late run ending up with the fastest time.

Several drivers had spins or off-track excursions in the conditions, including Hinchcliffe himself early on, as well as Mike Conway, Sebastian Saavedra and James Jakes to name just a few.

1. #06 James Hinchcliffe 100.201mph 1m 19.9036s after 20 laps
2. #10 Dario Franchitti 100.077mph 1m 20.0022s + 0.0986s after 22 laps
3. #12 Will Power 100.057mph 1m 20.0186s + 0.1150s after 20 laps
4. #9 Scott Dixon 100.035mph 1m 20.0362s + 0.1326s after 17 laps
5. #6 Ryan Briscoe 100.019mph 1m 20.0489s + 0.1453s after 21 laps
6. #59 EJ Viso 99.966mph 1m 20.0915s + 0.1879s after 18 laps
7. #22 Justin Wilson 99.928mph 1m 20.1213s + 0.2177s after 19 laps
8. #3 Helio Castroneves 99.919mph 1m 20.1293s + 0.2257s after 20 laps
9. #82 Tony Kanaan 99.764mph 1m 20.2532s + 0.3496s after 17 laps
10. #14 Vitor Meira 99.726mph 1m 20.2837s + 0.3801s after 23 laps
11. #38 Graham Rahal 99.724mph 1m 20.2857s + 0.3821s after 19 laps
12. #5 Takuma Sato 99.723mph 1m 20.2867s + 0.3831s after 20 laps
13. #2 Oriol Servia 99.623mph 1m 20.3667s + 0.4631s after 15 laps
14. #4 JR Hildebrand 99.621mph 1m 20.3686s + 0.4650s after 22 laps
15. #28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 99.585mph 1m 20.3973s + 0.4937s after 17 laps
16. #19 Sebastien Bourdais 99.413mph 1m 20.5368s + 0.6332s after 18 laps
17. #77 Alex Tagliani 99.382mph 1m 20.5617s + 0.6581s after 17 laps
18. #27 Mike Conway 99.297mph 1m 20.6309s + 0.7273s after 15 laps
19. #26 Marco Andretti 98.833mph 1m 21.0095s + 1.1059s after 20 laps
20. #7 Danica Patrick 98.537mph 1m 21.2531s + 1.3495s after 18 laps
21. #83 Charlie Kimball 98.452mph 1m 21.3225s + 1.4189s after 17 laps
22. #34 Sebastian Saavedra 98.342mph 1m 21.4138s + 1.5102s after 21 laps
23. #8 Paul Tracy 98.027mph 1m 21.6754s + 1.7718s after 18 laps
24. #18 James Jakes 97.977mph 1m 21.7173s + 1.8137s after 21 laps
25. #24 Ana Beatriz 97.452mph 1m 22.1572s + 2.2536s after 21 laps
26. #78 Simona de Silvestro 97.412mph 1m 22.1910s + 2.2874s after 12 laps

Total Laps: 488


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