Will Power made it look like a routine day at the office as he took another street course pole position, but he insisted that it has been a very tough qualifying that that it had taken everything he had to head off Graham Rahal for the top spot.

Power's Penske team mate Ryan Briscoe will start alongside Dario Franchitti on the second row of the grid, while Helio Castroneves and Scott Dixon failed to make it into the Firestone Fast Six pole shoot-out.

Light rain and thunderstorms in the area had dampened down the track between morning practice and the start of qualifying, adding another level of uncertainty and challenge to the already tricky and bumpy street circuit. But despite the weather, the crowd was once again very impressive as Baltimore seemed to take an immediate liking to their inaugural Grand Prix event, with a sell-out likely for race day.

Starting Grid

1. #12 Will Power Penske
2. #38 Graham Rahal Ganassi
3. #6 Ryan Briscoe Penske
4. #10 Dario Franchitti Ganassi
5. #19 Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne
6. #28 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti
7. #3 Helio Castroneves Penske
8. #27 Mike Conway Andretti
9. #59 EJ Viso KV Racing Technology
10. #9 Scott Dixon Ganassi
11. #82 Tony Kanaan KV Racing Technology
12. #78 Simona de Silvestro HVM
13. #18 James Jakes Dale Coyne
14. #14 Vitor Meira Foyt
15. #22 Giorgio Pantano Dreyer & Reinbold
16. #2 Oriol Servia Newman/Haas
17. #06 James Hinchcliffe Newman/Haas
18. #83 Charlie Kimball Ganassi
19. #4 JR Hildebrand Panther
20. #17 Martin Plowman Sam Schmidt
21. #77 Alex Tagliani Sam Schmidt
22. #24 Ana Beatriz Dreyer & Reinbold
23. #26 Marco Andretti Andretti
24. #88 Tomas Scheckter SH Racing
25. #7 Danica Patrick Andretti
26. #34 Sebastian Saavedra Conquest
27. #67 Ed Carpenter Sarah Fisher
28. #5 Takuma Sato KV Racing Technology

Qualifying times

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

For once no one was hanging back in pit lane at the start of the session, as the damp track raised the risk of a disruptive full course caution that made everyone nervous of getting caught out. Dario Franchitti set an early target time but then made a mistake into turn 1 and for a moment looked as if he might have stalled the #10 car. That put him on the back foot as the track dried and times tumbled: Ryan Briscoe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Scott Dixon and Giorgio Pantano all took brief turns at the top as the session turned into a lottery. Franchitti made another mistake on his final flying lap and was very lucky to squeeze his way into round 2, while Pantano dropped out after Sebastien Bourdais improved late on, James Jakes narrowly missed out and James Hinchcliffe also surprisingly failed to make it through. At the end of the session, Alex Tagliani overcooked the approach into turn 1 and narrowly missed collecting JR Hildebrand as he recovered back to the track.

1. #9 Scott Dixon 90.560mph 1m 21.0955s after 5 laps
2. #6 Ryan Briscoe 90.512mph 1m 21.1381s + 0.0426s after 7 laps
3. #38 Graham Rahal 90.496mph 1m 21.1532s + 0.0577s after 6 laps
4. #19 Sebastien Bourdais 90.371mph 1m 21.2649s + 0.1694s after 6 laps
5. #28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 90.330mph 1m 21.3015s + 0.2060s after 6 laps
6. #10 Dario Franchitti 90.171mph 1m 21.4452s + 0.3497s after 7 laps
7. #18 James Jakes 89.995mph 1m 21.6046s + 0.5091s after 8 laps
8. #22 Giorgio Pantano 89.906mph 1m 21.6857s + 0.5902s after 7 laps
9. #06 James Hinchcliffe 89.793mph 1m 21.7882s + 0.6927s after 5 laps
10. #4 JR Hildebrand 89.536mph 1m 22.0232s + 0.9277s after 7 laps
11. #77 Alex Tagliani 89.387mph 1m 22.1596s + 1.0641s after 6 laps
12. #26 Marco Andretti 88.597mph 1m 22.8926s + 1.7971s after 8 laps
13. #7 Danica Patrick 88.465mph 1m 23.0159s + 1.9204s after 6 laps
14. #67 Ed Carpenter 86.874mph 1m 24.5361s + 3.4406s after 8 laps

Round 1: Group 2 - 15 minutes

With conditions perceptibly better for the second group, Will Power's first serious run netted a time of 1:23.3890s ahead of Tony Kanaan, and his second sliced a full 2.3s off that while his team mate Helio Castroneves scrapped with Mike Conway over second place. A surge from KV Racing Technology trio Takuma Sato, Tony Kanaan and EJ Viso pushed Helio down to sixth before Sato then seriously overcooked his run into turn 3 and spun in the path of oncoming traffic. Sato duly had his two fastest lap times deleted for causing a full course caution and dropped to the back of the grid, the round 2 spot going to Simona de Silvestro instead. Oriol Servia's session was frustrated by a left front tyre going down after a glancing blow with the wall out of turn 12 on cold rubber.

1. #12 Will Power 90.690mph 1m 20.9791s after 4 laps
2. #27 Mike Conway 90.382mph 1m 21.2554s + 0.2763s after 5 laps
3. #59 EJ Viso 90.045mph 1m 21.5588s + 0.5797s after 7 laps
4. #82 Tony Kanaan 89.794mph 1m 21.7874s + 0.8083s after 8 laps
5. #3 Helio Castroneves 89.784mph 1m 21.7961s + 0.8170s after 7 laps
6. #78 Simona de Silvestro 89.721mph 1m 21.8538s + 0.8747s after 8 laps
7. #14 Vitor Meira 89.593mph 1m 21.9707s + 0.9916s after 8 laps
8. #2 Oriol Servia 89.577mph 1m 21.9856s + 1.0065s after 5 laps
9. #83 Charlie Kimball 89.130mph 1m 22.3963s + 1.4172s after 7 laps
10. #17 Martin Plowman 88.949mph 1m 22.5638s + 1.5847s after 8 laps
11. #24 Ana Beatriz 88.581mph 1m 22.9070s + 1.9279s after 9 laps
12. #07 Tomas Scheckter 88.507mph 1m 22.9769s + 1.9978s after 9 laps
13. #34 Sebastian Saavedra 87.980mph 1m 23.4736s + 2.4945s after 8 laps
14. #5 Takuma Sato 86.082mph 1m 25.3139s + 4.3348s after 7 laps

Round 2: Top 12 - 10 minutes

Once again the session got off to a brisk start. Graham Rahal had an early near miss with the wall at turn 4, before Will Power went to the top of the times ahead of Scott Dixon and Ryan Briscoe. Each lap saw a big improvement in the conditions: seconds later the top three were Dario Franchitti, Briscoe and Tony Kanaan, then next time around Will Power and Sebastien Bourdais went fastest. Franchitti had a scary loose moment out of the turn 3 hairpin and then missed turn 4 on his next run but he just held on to a top six spot to move forward to round 3 by just 0.016s over James Jakes, while Dixon touched the wall on two of his qualifying attempts and failed to progress in what proved a fraught session for the main Ganassi duo. However, their 'junior team' mate Rahal impressively split Power and Bourdais at the top of the timesheets as the chequered flag was shown.

1. #12 Will Power 91.746mph 1m 20.0473s after 3 laps
2. #38 Graham Rahal 91.413mph 1m 20.3386s + 0.2913s after 6 laps
3. #19 Sebastien Bourdais 91.345mph 1m 20.3986s + 0.3513s after 6 laps
4. #6 Ryan Briscoe 91.220mph 1m 20.5087s + 0.4614s after 6 laps
5. #10 Dario Franchitti 90.958mph 1m 20.7407s + 0.6934s after 6 laps
6. #28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 90.918mph 1m 20.7762s + 0.7289s after 6 laps
7. #3 Helio Castroneves 90.835mph 1m 20.8503s + 0.8030s after 5 laps
8. #27 Mike Conway 90.770mph 1m 20.9078s + 0.8605s after 6 laps
9. #59 EJ Viso 90.732mph 1m 20.9416s + 0.8943s after 6 laps
10. #9 Scott Dixon 90.598mph 1m 21.0617s + 1.0144s after 6 laps
11. #82 Tony Kanaan 90.247mph 1m 21.3764s + 1.3291s after 6 laps
12. #78 Simona de Silvestro 89.848mph 1m 21.7382s + 1.6909s after 6 laps

Round 3: Firestone Fast 6 - 10 minutes

Sebastien Bourdais and Ryan Hunter-Reay were first out on track for the final ten minute pole shootout, but no one dared hang back in pit road for too long and it was Graham Rahal who set the first competitive lap time of 1:21.4199s. Dario Franchitti undercut that and Rahal pushed faster still on his next lap. Next time around it was Will Power's time to go top - and once again, Rahal immediately struck back and went to the top again with a laptime of 1:20.3238s, but in his last run Power registered a lap time of 1:20.2447s which was too good for Rahal to respond to. Ryan Briscoe pushed into third place, with Franchitti unable to place better than fourth on the starting grid.

1. #12 Will Power 91.520mph 1m 20.2447s after 5 laps
2. #38 Graham Rahal 91.430mph 1m 20.3238s + 0.0791s after 6 laps
3. #6 Ryan Briscoe 91.001mph 1m 20.7023s + 0.4576s after 5 laps
4. #10 Dario Franchitti 90.990mph 1m 20.7118s + 0.4671s after 6 laps
5. #19 Sebastien Bourdais 90.697mph 1m 20.9725s + 0.7278s after 5 laps
6. #28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 90.656mph 1m 21.0095s + 0.7648s after 6 laps


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