28 April 2012
Brazil - Qualifying times
Will Power took pole position for Sunday afternoon's Sao Paulo Indy 300, narrowly holding off a rejuvenated Dario Franchitti in the final top six pole shootout.
As is the norm for road and street races, qualifying consisted of half the field running in the 15 minute Group 1 and the other half in Group 2. The top six from each group progressed to the ten minute Top 12 session, with the top six from that round then going through to the pole shoot-out Firestone Fast Six.
Round 1 Group 1
Group 1 consisted of Will Power, Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliffe, Justin Wilson, Simon Pagenaud, Marco Andretti, Rubens Barrichello, JR Hildebrand, Tony Kanaan, Simona de Silvestro, Sebastien Bourdais, Ana Beatriz and Katherine Legge.
Beatriz was first out to make the most of the deserted track, steadily improving with each lap to set an early benchmark of 1:23.9145s on red (soft option) tyres. The rest of the cars sat idle for the first seven minutes but then proceeded to head out en mass. Justin Wilson went top with a time of 1:22.8483s with a little over five minutes remaining and James Hinchcliffe slotting into second four tenths behind before promptly overrunning his next pass through turn 1.
Wilson improved to 1:22.3033s as it seemed that the tyres needed a good three laps to get up to their best performance, before Scott Dixon and Will Power took over at the top with the Ganassi's lap of 1:21.7138 a shade under three tenths faster than the Penske.
In the final minutes the Penske driver slammed in a lap of 1:21.6133s to go safely top, after which he joined Dixon in an early retreat to pit lane, confident that the job was done. James Hinchcliffe popped up into third place ahead of Wilson, with Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti also making the top six to progress into round 2.
Unfortunately for the local fans, Rubens Barrichello was not able to move forward, finishing just outside in seventh place despite pushing incredibly hard on his final run and even brushing the outside of turn 9 with the rear wheel of the KV Racing technology car.
1. Will Power Penske-Chevrolet 111.864mph 1:21.613s (4 laps)
2. Scott Dixon Ganassi-Honda 111.727mph 1:21.714s + 0.101s (3 laps)
3. James Hinchcliffe Andretti-Chevrolet 111.415mph 1:21.942s + 0.329s (5 laps)
4. Justin Wilson Dale Coyne-Honda 111.346mph 1:21.993s + 0.380s (7 laps)
5. Tony Kanaan KV Racing-Chevrolet 110.84mph 1:22.367s + 0.754s (5 laps)
6. Marco Andretti Andretti-Chevrolet 110.837mph 1:22.370s + 0.756s (5 laps)
7. Rubens Barrichello KV Racing-Chevrolet 110.804mph 1:22.394s + 0.781s (5 laps)
8. JR Hildebrand Panther-Chevrolet 110.753mph 1:22.432s + 0.819s (5 laps)
9. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt-Hamilton-Honda 110.749mph 1:22.435s + 0.822s (5 laps)
10. Sebastien Bourdais Dragon-Lotus 109.819mph 1:23.133s + 1.520s (5 laps)
11. Ana Beatriz Andretti-Chevrolet 109.64mph 1:23.269s + 1.656s (9 laps)
12. Simona de Silvestro HVM-Lotus 109.106mph 1:23.676s + 2.063s (5 laps)
13. Katherine Legge Dragon-Lotus 107.91mph 1:24.604s + 2.991s (6 laps)
Round 1 Group 2
Group 2 consisted of Dario Franchitti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Ryan Briscoe, Mike Conway, Josef Newgarden, EJ Viso, Helio Castroneves, Graham Rahal, James Jakes, Charlie Kimball, Takuma Sato, Oriol Servia and Ed Carpenter.
There were no early takers at all for the empty track for the first few minutes of the 15-minute session, until finally Ed Carpenter went out with a little under ten minutes remaining closely followed by James Jakes and then gradually the others grudgingly roused themselves to follow them out on track before the mid-session mark.
Jakes just held on to an early tank-slapper on his first flying run and then overran turn 1 on his second, while Charlie Kimball set the first decent laptime of 1:23.9014 which was quickly eclipsed by Ryan Hunter-Reay's lap of 1:22.7666 as the tyres started to get up to temperature.
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